National WWII Memorial
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National WWII Memorial information
Dedicated on Memorial Day (May 29) 2004, the WWII memorial honors the unity that swept the nation during that conflict, plus the 16 million Americans who served in the armed forces during the war, 400,000 who died in it and millions more who helped the effort at home.
The memorial anchors the eastern end of the Reflecting Pool, serving as a balancing axis between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. The centerpiece is a plaza dominated by dual arches symbolizing victory in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters, surrounded by 56 granite pillars, one for each state and territory plus the District of Columbia. The Freedom Wall is studded with 4048 hand-sculpted gold stars, one for every 100 Americans who lost their lives between 1941 and 1945 (the stars are replicas of those worn by mothers who lost their sons in the war). Today, you’ll often see widows and families placing flowers or fading black-and-white photos of handsome young men at the foot of the wall. Bas-relief panels depict both combat and the mobilization of the home front, and quotes – some truly stirring – speckle the entire affair.
Beside the memorial to the south there is an information kiosk where you can look through the registry of war veterans.