Inspired by this thread.
For me, seeing the Korean War and Vietnam Memorials in Washington DC was an experience that pictures hadn’t prepared me for. The Korean War Memorial is so lifelike, that-- well, I can’t explain how it really made me feel, but it was eerie and beautiful. The Vietnam Wall is even more awe inspiring, as I never realized how big it was until I saw it first hand.
The USS Arizona Pearl Harbor Memorial was much more beautiful and striking than I thought. It was very moving to know that I was in a place where so many had died. Sitting in that tranquil, beautiful, Hawaiian harbor, it is really hard to imagine it filled with smoke, fire, and screams of people burning alive in oil covered water.
The entire Arlington Cemetery in DC is just really moving because it is such an incredibly peaceful place. It’s really astonishing to see rows and rows and rows of graves, going on seemingly endlessly, with the capitol in the background. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the guards working there are equally interest to watch. Mesmerizing, really.
Non military-history things, I’d have to say that I had low expectations for the Bellagio fountains, but those things were damned impressive. Even though I must have watched them at least 50 times by now, I still stop and watch when I have a chance.
So, what about you?