The First Division Monument, standing in President’s Park next to the White House and in front of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, is dedicated to those who served and died in the First Division of the American Expeditionary Forces. It was built to commemorate those First Division members who died in World War I, but in subsequent decades the names of First Division members from World War II and the Vietnam War have been added as well.
The whole monument stands 80 feet high with a guilded bronze statue of a winged Lady Victory on top. The column of pink granite she stands on is from the same area as that of the Lincoln Memorial and the John Ericsson Memorial, but in this case, it’s a single piece of granite–one of the largest single pieces of granite ever extracted from a quarry in the United States.1 It was dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge on October 4, 1924.
The monument is in President’s Park, the opposite side of the White House from the General Sherman Monument. If you’re walking from the Washington Monument facing the White House, the First Division Monument is across the Ellipse veering left, in front of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
If you’re going by public transport, the nearest metro stops are McPherson Square (Orange and Blue lines; 0.5 miles), Federal Triangle (Orange and Blue lines; 0.6 miles), or Metro Center (Orange, Blue, and Red lines; 0.6 miles).
The streets immediately around the White House are sealed off to motorized traffic and offer no parking or access. If you’re willing to walk several blocks there are a number of commercial parking garages in the downtown area and you might be able to find metered on-street parking.
Under normal circumstances, there are no access restrictions day or night. From time to time, the extra security measures around the White House might mean that the area is closed off temporarily.
There’s no problem using a flash or tripod most of the time. But use common sense with all the extra security around the White House.
Commercial shoots and filming may require a permit.
If you're coming in from out of town, here are some of the most popular guidebooks that can help you make the most of your visit.
And here are some interesting options for less traditional guidesbooks if you'd like an emphasis on exploring DC on foot or diving into some of the region's rich history.