Scenic USA - Washington DC

World War II Memorial

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World War II Memorial - Washington, DC

Photo by Brad Troy
Brad Troy Photography

     Dedicated on May 29, 2004, the World War II Memorial was one of the most recent additions to Washington DC's National Mall. Built of granite and bronze, the oval shaped monument commemorates the sacrifices of 16 million members of America's Armed Services.
     Fifty-six granite columns, set-off with sculpted bronze wreaths, are split into two semi circles that surround a reflective pool. Arranged in the order as they joined the Union, the columns represent America’s 48 states, seven U.S. territories and the District of Columbia at the time of the war. Alternating across the Rainbow Pool, the memorial columns begin with Delaware and end with Arizona. Two 43 foot arched pavilions, centered on each end, proclaim victories at both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters.
     The Freedom Wall honors 405,399 dead or missing American service personnel. Using a star for each 100 deceased Americans, the wall displays 4,048 gold stars. The memorial also features WWII battle names and military campaigns that took place on land, sea and in the air. One of the hidden treasures is the famous Kilroy was here graffiti. Visitors are encouraged to search the computer based registry for armed services members who participated in the war effort either overseas or at home. Park personnel will provide assistance with updates or additional names to the data base.
     Designed by Friedrich St. Florian, the occasionally criticized monument is said to delicately balance both classical and modernistic styles of architecture. The memorial blends in beautifully with the National Mall's architecture, and provides a fitting tribute to all who had served in the Allied war effort.

   National Mall Map

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