Monuments on Memorial Avenue

aerial view of Memorial Avenue

The entrance to Arlington National Cemetery extends across the Potomac River to near the Lincoln Memorial at the eastern edge of Memorial Bridge. Memorial Avenue, Memorial Bridge and the entrance to the cemetery were designed as a single project, dedicated on January 16, 1932 by President Herbert Hoover.

In the post-Civil War era, the Memorial Bridge was intended as a symbolic link, binding North and South together into one great union. Architects McKim, Meade & White designed the bridge to extend along an axis joining the Lincoln Memorial and the Robert E. Lee Memorial at Arlington House.

Memorial Avenue connects the bridge to the cemetery gates, and it connects to George Washington Memorial Parkway via a rotary intersection. At night, as visitors approach Arlington along Memorial Avenue, the eternal flame marking President John F. Kennedy's grave is visible on the hillside. Memorial Avenue features several memorials and monuments that are not part of Arlington National Cemetery. Administered by the National Park Service, these include the Seabees Memorial, the Armored Forces Memorial, the United Spanish War Veterans Memorial ("The Hiker"), the Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd Monument, the 101st Airborne Division Memorial and the 4th (Ivy) Infantry Division Memorial. Memorial Avenue ends at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, dedicated in 1997 to honor the women who have served in the United States armed forces.

From the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, roads into the cemetery lead both north and south through a pair of ornate wrought iron gates. On the north side, Schley Gate commemorates Admiral Winfield Scott Schley, a hero of the Spanish-American War (1898). On the south side, Roosevelt Gate honors President Theodore Roosevelt. At the center of each gate, a gold wreath features a shield with the seals of the U.S. military services. The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard seals are on the Schley Gate wreath, while the U.S. Army and Marine Corps seals are on the Roosevelt Gate wreath. When the gates were installed, the U.S. Air Force was still a branch of the Army, so its seal does not appear. 

Memorial Bridge, Memorial Avenue and the monuments along it, the Memorial Entrance to Arlington National Cemetery and the Robert E. Lee Memorial (Arlington House) all fall within the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.