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The Tripoli Monument was carved in 1806 in Italy before being brought to the Washington Navy Yard in 1808. It would later be moved to the US Capitol building in 1831, and then finally being put at its permanent residence at the United States Naval Academy in 1860. It is the US's oldest military monument. The Tripoli Monument honors the fallen heroes of the First Barbary War, which lasted from 1801 to 1805. Designed by Giovani C. Micali, it is also known as the Naval Monument and the Peace Monument.


  • The Tripoli Monument at the United States Naval Academy
  • Close-up of the eagle perched at the top of the monument.

The Tripoli Monument honors the fallen of the First Barbary War. This was a war in which the United States faced off against the pirating nations of Tripolitania and Morocco. The Tripoli Monument is made of Carrara marble and sandstone. It was the first monument of the federal capitol and, for thirty-five years, was the only monument in all of Washington DC. It even withstood the War of 1812 and the burning and rebuilding of the capitol. 

The Tripoli Monument was brought over on the USS Constitution from Italy. It was erected in honor of Captain Richard Somers, Lieutenant James Caldwell, James Decatur, Henry Wadsworth, Joseph Israel and John Dorsey. All of whom would die during different attacks on the city of Tripoli. The monument is a matter of great pride for the United States and the Navy. The First Barbary War was the first war fought by the US on foreign soil, and was largely a war of who had the better navy. Still eager to prove itself on the world stage after the Revolutionary War, this monument is about more than those six brave men. It is a testament to the entire United States Navy and the first victory by the United States after the Revolution.

"Our Oldest Naval Memorial: The Tripoli Monument", accessed on November 19, 2014. http://www.navalhistory.org/2011/05/30/the-tripoli-monument "Tripoli Monument at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland", accessed on November 19, 2014. http://dcmemorials.com/index_indiv0003204.htm