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San Francisco’s military monuments and memorials, mapped

Remembering those who died in service

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From the World War II West Coast Memorial that pays tribute to missing solders to the recently dedicated octagonal-shaped Veterans Memorial at Civic Center, San Francisco has much to offer for those who want to pay their respects to the U.S. military. Check out this map featuring 12 memorials and monuments where you can pay your respects and remember those who severed.

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1. War Memorial Opera House

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301 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 861-8150
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Finished in 1932, the War Memorial Opera House is noted for being one of the last Beaux-Arts structures finished in the United States. Its Doric order architecture of the Roman variety was used to give off a sober aesthetic in order to commemorate those who served and died in World War I. The interior's high barrel vaulted and coffered ceilings are one of the building's most awe-inspiring highlights. Fun facts: The San Francisco Symphony performed here from 1932 to 1980, prior to Davies' completion, and it was used in the acclaimed movie Steve Jobs.

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2. San Francisco Veterans Memorial

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Nestled in between the War Memorial and Opera House across from City Hall, this contemporary, stone octagon memorial was dedicated in 2014. In the center of the octagonal lawn in the Memorial Court at Civic Center, it features a poem by Archibald MacLeish, "The Young Dead Soldiers Do Not Speak," which in part reads: "The young dead soldiers do not speak ... They say: We were young. We have died. Remember us."

3. War Memorial Veterans Building

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401 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 413-1413
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Located next to the War Memorial Opera House, a plaque honoring the San Francisco servicemen killed in the Vietnam War was unveiled in 2016. Designed by Arthur Brown, Jr., the American architect who also created San Francisco City Hall, this circa-1932 cultural landmark is one of the last Beaux-Arts structures built in the country.

4. Holocaust Memorial

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Legion of Honor
San Francisco, CA 94121

Though the memorial has been vandalized over the years (e.g., graffiti of swastikas and splashes of red paint), it still stands in the face of fear and hate. Artist George Segal used white painted bronze to create the memorial featuring a series of bodies trapped within a barbed-wire fence. In addition to many Jews who were primarily imprisoned and killed inside the Nazi camps, LGBT people and overseas soldiers were also executed inside the camps.

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5. Fort Mason General's Residence

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Bay Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 345-7500
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Primarily used today as a wedding venue, the Fort Mason General's Residence once housed exactly just that: It's where the Army general lived when Fort Mason was an active military base. Recently renovated, the residence’s ballroom, dining room, lounge, and foyer have all been revamped.

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6. Fort Mason

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2 Marina Blvd Bldg A
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 345-7500
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A former United States Army post, Fort Mason was active for more than 100 years. It was initially used as a coastal defense site, then as a military port facility during World War II. Today it is used as an event space, hosting galas galore and an excessive amount of food parties.

7. Presidio Army bunkers at Fort Scott

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Storey Ave
San Francisco, CA 94129

Fort Scott closed in 1956. But the old army batteries remain. The long-abandoned, bunker-like structures, where massive guns aimed at the bay, were turned into an art gallery in 2016. Most notable, it held Home Land Security, an exhibit that featured artists from 11 different countries, featuring mediums from sculptures to videos to live performance, each exploring themes like security, ideology, conflict, and other military-minded artifacts.

8. SS Jeremiah O'Brien

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Pier 45
San Francisco, CA 94133

A Liberty ship built during World War II and christened for American Revolutionary War captain Jeremiah O'Brien, the SS Jeremiah O'Brien was part of the armada that stormed Normandy on D-Day. It's now open to the public open to the public, where visitors can tour the engine room, bridge, and cargo holds.

9. World War II West Coast Memorial

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Kobbe Ave
San Francisco, CA 94129

Dedicated in 1960, the memorial is dedicated to missing servicepersons (soldiers, sailors, et al.) during World War II. The structure is a curved wall of granite flanking a grove of Monterey pine and cypress. One of the two bas-reliefs featured on it depicts two constellations: Pegasus (the winged horse) and Pisces (the fish), which are meant to denote the stars mariners used for guidance.

Photo via NPS.gov

10. USS San Francisco Memorial

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Lands End
San Francisco, CA

Noted as one of the most decorated ships of World War II, earning 17 battle stars, the USS San Francisco, a New Orleans-class cruiser, was heavily damaged during the Battle of Guadalcanal. Dismantled in 1959 and sold for scrap metal, this piece of shell-riddled flag bridge wing stands as a memorial to the former glory.

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11. San Francisco National Cemetery

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1 Lincoln Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94129
(650) 589-7737
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Though typically thought of during Memorial Day, this is an excellent way to pay your respects while seeing a richly textured part of San Francisco's history. Per the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs Office, "The cemetery is enclosed with a stone wall and slopes down a hill that today frames a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Its original ornamental cast-iron entrance gates are present but have been unused since the entrance was relocated. Tall eucalyptus trees further enclose the cemetery. The lodge and rostrum date to the 1920s and reflect the Spanish Revival styling introduced to several western cemeteries."

San Francisco National Cemetery.
San Francisco National Cemetery.
Photo by Shutterstock

12. Korean War Memorial

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Lincoln Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 561-4323
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Built by the Korean War Memorial Foundation and the Presidio Trust, the circa-2016 memorial can be found just outside San Francisco National Cemetery.

Photo via Presidio.gov

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1. War Memorial Opera House

301 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102

Finished in 1932, the War Memorial Opera House is noted for being one of the last Beaux-Arts structures finished in the United States. Its Doric order architecture of the Roman variety was used to give off a sober aesthetic in order to commemorate those who served and died in World War I. The interior's high barrel vaulted and coffered ceilings are one of the building's most awe-inspiring highlights. Fun facts: The San Francisco Symphony performed here from 1932 to 1980, prior to Davies' completion, and it was used in the acclaimed movie Steve Jobs.

301 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102

2. San Francisco Veterans Memorial

San Francisco, CA

Nestled in between the War Memorial and Opera House across from City Hall, this contemporary, stone octagon memorial was dedicated in 2014. In the center of the octagonal lawn in the Memorial Court at Civic Center, it features a poem by Archibald MacLeish, "The Young Dead Soldiers Do Not Speak," which in part reads: "The young dead soldiers do not speak ... They say: We were young. We have died. Remember us."

3. War Memorial Veterans Building

401 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102

Located next to the War Memorial Opera House, a plaque honoring the San Francisco servicemen killed in the Vietnam War was unveiled in 2016. Designed by Arthur Brown, Jr., the American architect who also created San Francisco City Hall, this circa-1932 cultural landmark is one of the last Beaux-Arts structures built in the country.

401 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102

4. Holocaust Memorial

Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA 94121

Though the memorial has been vandalized over the years (e.g., graffiti of swastikas and splashes of red paint), it still stands in the face of fear and hate. Artist George Segal used white painted bronze to create the memorial featuring a series of bodies trapped within a barbed-wire fence. In addition to many Jews who were primarily imprisoned and killed inside the Nazi camps, LGBT people and overseas soldiers were also executed inside the camps.

Legion of Honor
San Francisco, CA 94121

5. Fort Mason General's Residence

Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

Primarily used today as a wedding venue, the Fort Mason General's Residence once housed exactly just that: It's where the Army general lived when Fort Mason was an active military base. Recently renovated, the residence’s ballroom, dining room, lounge, and foyer have all been revamped.

Bay Street
San Francisco, CA 94123

6. Fort Mason

2 Marina Blvd Bldg A, San Francisco, CA 94123

A former United States Army post, Fort Mason was active for more than 100 years. It was initially used as a coastal defense site, then as a military port facility during World War II. Today it is used as an event space, hosting galas galore and an excessive amount of food parties.

2 Marina Blvd Bldg A
San Francisco, CA 94123

7. Presidio Army bunkers at Fort Scott

Storey Ave, San Francisco, CA 94129

Fort Scott closed in 1956. But the old army batteries remain. The long-abandoned, bunker-like structures, where massive guns aimed at the bay, were turned into an art gallery in 2016. Most notable, it held Home Land Security, an exhibit that featured artists from 11 different countries, featuring mediums from sculptures to videos to live performance, each exploring themes like security, ideology, conflict, and other military-minded artifacts.

Storey Ave
San Francisco, CA 94129

8. SS Jeremiah O'Brien

Pier 45, San Francisco, CA 94133

A Liberty ship built during World War II and christened for American Revolutionary War captain Jeremiah O'Brien, the SS Jeremiah O'Brien was part of the armada that stormed Normandy on D-Day. It's now open to the public open to the public, where visitors can tour the engine room, bridge, and cargo holds.

Pier 45
San Francisco, CA 94133

9. World War II West Coast Memorial

Kobbe Ave, San Francisco, CA 94129
Photo via NPS.gov

Dedicated in 1960, the memorial is dedicated to missing servicepersons (soldiers, sailors, et al.) during World War II. The structure is a curved wall of granite flanking a grove of Monterey pine and cypress. One of the two bas-reliefs featured on it depicts two constellations: Pegasus (the winged horse) and Pisces (the fish), which are meant to denote the stars mariners used for guidance.

Kobbe Ave
San Francisco, CA 94129

10. USS San Francisco Memorial

Lands End, San Francisco, CA

Noted as one of the most decorated ships of World War II, earning 17 battle stars, the USS San Francisco, a New Orleans-class cruiser, was heavily damaged during the Battle of Guadalcanal. Dismantled in 1959 and sold for scrap metal, this piece of shell-riddled flag bridge wing stands as a memorial to the former glory.

Lands End
San Francisco, CA

11. San Francisco National Cemetery

1 Lincoln Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94129
San Francisco National Cemetery.
San Francisco National Cemetery.
Photo by Shutterstock

Though typically thought of during Memorial Day, this is an excellent way to pay your respects while seeing a richly textured part of San Francisco's history. Per the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs Office, "The cemetery is enclosed with a stone wall and slopes down a hill that today frames a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Its original ornamental cast-iron entrance gates are present but have been unused since the entrance was relocated. Tall eucalyptus trees further enclose the cemetery. The lodge and rostrum date to the 1920s and reflect the Spanish Revival styling introduced to several western cemeteries."

1 Lincoln Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94129

12. Korean War Memorial

Lincoln Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94129
Photo via Presidio.gov

Built by the Korean War Memorial Foundation and the Presidio Trust, the circa-2016 memorial can be found just outside San Francisco National Cemetery.

Lincoln Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94129