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National Park Quiz 56: Memorials

Was the Korean War Veterans Memorial dedicated on Memorial Day? Photo by Sox524 via Wikipedia.

1. True or false? The Korean War Veterans National Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial were both dedicated on Memorial Day.

2. True or false? The current tally of 27 national memorials counted as National Park System units excludes three NPS units that have the word Memorial somewhere in their titles.

3. True or false? One of the three new NPS units that Congress authorized in 2009 is a national memorial to be constructed in Delaware.

4. True or false? None of the national memorials counted as units of the National Park System were established to honor women.

5. True or false? The Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial are both wheelchair-accessible.

6. True or false? Martin Luther King, Jr.’s heirs have collected fees for the use of Dr. King’s name and image in connection with fund raising for the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, DC.

7. True or false? One unit of the National Park System is a national memorial honoring David Berger, one of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1976 Munich Games, who was also a U.S. citizen.

8. The largest (greatest area) national memorial in the National Park System is
a. Arkansas Post National Memorial
b. Coronado National Memorial
c. De Soto National Memorial
d. Mount Rushmore National Memorial

9. Which features the world’s most massive Doric column?
a. Thomas Jefferson Memorial
b. Washington Monument
c. Lincoln Memorial
d. Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial

10. The smallest unit in the National Park System has National Memorial s part of its title. Can you name this NPS unit and tell what city it’s in?

Extra Credit Question:

11. Which national memorial now counted as a unit of the National Park System started out as an effort by a private organization to honor the mother of a famous American, later became a state park, and finally became a national memorial administered by the National Park Service?

Super Bonus Question:

12. Name the National Park System unit that is classified as a national memorial even though the word Memorial does not appear anywhere in its title, and is administered by a Natonal Park System unit that is not classified as a national memorial even though the word Memorial is part of its title.


(1) False. Neither was dedicated on Memorial Day. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982, and the Korean War Veterans National Memorial was dedicated on July 27, 1995.

(2) True. The NPS administers George Washington Memorial Parkway, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park, but does not categorize these these units as national memorials.

(3) False. The newly authorized National Park System units are the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park (NJ), the William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site (AR), and River Raisin National Battlefield Park (MI).

(4) True. Although many NPS units honor women in one way or another, none of the 27 national memorials counted as units of the National Park System were established for that purpose. The Vietnam Women's Memorial, for example, was added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (in 1993) and is not counted as a separate National Park System unit.

(5) True. Wheelchair accessibility was a very important consideration in the design of both memorials. The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, which includes a statue of FDR seated in a wheelchair, was one of the first major monuments in Washington, DC, to be fully wheelchair accessible when it was opened to the public.

(6) True. Dr. King’s heirs, represented by the King Center in Atlanta, are legally entitled to collect fees for commercial use of the martyred civil rights leader’s name and image, which they consider a "brand." As of April 2009 they had billed about $800,000 to the private foundation charged with raising the funds for the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial now under construction on a four-acre site adjacent to the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC.

(7) False. But you wouldn’t know this for sure if you consulted the National Park Service website for the David Berger National Memorial. The FAQs page of that site tells us in ask-and-answer style that David Berger National Memorial was “authorized as a unit of the National Park Service” [italics mine]. ?! Nowhere on this or any other page of the website is it made clear that the murdered athlete's memorial, which is administered by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and maintained by the Mandel Jewish Community Center of Beachwood, Ohio, has never been counted as a unit of the National Park System.

(8) b -- At 4,750 acres, Arizona’s Coronado National Memorial is larger than all of the other National Park System national memorial units put together.

(9) d -- The 352-foot stone monument at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial in Put-in-Bay, Ohio, is the world’s most massive Doric column and one of the tallest monuments in the United States.

(10) The 0.02-acre Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Philadelphia is the smallest unit in the National Park System. This national memorial, which is administered by Independence National Historical Park, consists of a single historic house at 3rd and Pine Streets.

(11) The NPS-administered Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial started out in 1879 as a localized effort to preserve the grave site of Nancy Hanks, Abraham Lincoln’s mother. In 1932 the grave site and some adjoining land became part of Indiana’s Lincoln State Park. Thirty years later, Indiana donated the memorial to the Federal government and the U.S. Congress authorized the establishment of the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial.

(12) The National Park Service classifies Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington, DC, as a national memorial even though the word Memorial does not appear anywhere in this NPS unit's title. Theodore Roosevelt Island is administered by George Washington Memorial Parkway, a unit that isn't classified as a national memorial even though the parkway's title includes the word Memorial. Give yourself two points and a pat on the back if you got this one right.

Grading: 9 or 10 correct, rest on your laurels; 7 or 8 correct, pretty darn good; 6 correct, passable fair; 5 or fewer correct, nothing to brag about.


That was a very interesting quiz, even though I didn't know any of the answers...:D.

Can you cite a source for your answer re the King Memorial? I can't find anything on the Internet indicating the King family/King Center has returned $800,000 they collected from the foundation for use of King's words and image in fund raising activities.

Good catch, RoadRanger. I've revised the quiz item involved. Thank you very kindly.

You're welcome, Bob. Needed every point I could get on this one and still barely avoided having to enroll in your course. I enjoy your challenges. Keep 'em coming.

THis is nice but no mention of the 3 crosses in Mojave National Perserve that were erected to honor WWII vets but the ACLU wants to have removed. I guess the ACLU doesn't care about honoring WWII vets!

If you are going to tell the story, Anon, please tell the whole story. The ACLU has never argued that it is inappropriate to honor war veterans, or that there's anything wrong with a Latin cross, per se. What the ACLU has argued, and the lower courts have affirmed, is that it's inappropriate for a monument on Federal land to honor war veterans with only a Latin cross. This controversy will be resolved in the U.S. Supreme Court this year, so we should know soon enough how it will all shake out. This case will be watched very carefully because it'll be the Roberts Court's first chance to decide a lawsuit directly involving the First Amendment's establishment clause. BTW, this controversy isn't about honoring WW II vets. The first cross, which was erected in 1934, honored WW I vets. Subsequent ones are said to have honored all of America's war vets or Americans who died in military service.

Bob, your memorial quiz has hooked me. I am surprised you did not have a question about the informal memorial to country rock legend, Gram Parsons, at Joshua Tree NP. It is quite a story. Parsons loved the park and when he died of a drug overdose nearby, his friends "removed" his body from L.A. International Airport and attempted to fulfill his wish to be cremated at Cap Rock. Over thirty years, the site became a memorial shrine to Parsons and his Cosmic American Music. It was so popular it became a resource management issue that was assessed for significance around 2000. I believe the park attempted to mitigate impacts on the area by moving one of the memorial rocks - or similar - to the Joshua Tree Inn where he had died. I'm not sure if this was a successful option, but I can guarantee you the Parsons Memorial was the most bizarre resource management consultation I ever had during my 36 years with NPS.

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