There is no National Memorial to Roger Williams here [in Washington], unlike the monuments to other national heroes like Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. Our National Memorial is in Rhode Island, where he lived and left us a philosophical legacy of incomparable worth.
Senator Claiborne Pell, sponsor of the original legislation creating the memorial, on its 30th anniversary, October 22, 1995
This site has changed drastically since the 1950s. Industry moved away. Infrastructure deteriorated. Retail followed the population to the suburbs. The site, cleared as an urban renewal project, was ready for a new use. Congress created this memorial in 1965 to commemorate Roger Williams's "outstanding contributions to the development of the principles of freedom" in the United States.
Take time to contemplate his legacy in this urban oasis. Sit quietly, walk the winding paths, and find a place for your own ideas.