World War II Memorial, Washington D.C.

4.5 out of 5 stars 68 Reviews

Between Lincoln's Memorial / Washington Monument 1-800-639-4WW2

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  • aphrodyte's Profile Photo

    National World War II Memorial

    by aphrodyte Updated Feb 23, 2014

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    Located at the center of the National Mall, the National World War II Memorial opened to the public on April 29, 2004 with the Washington Monument to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west. National Park Service keeps it open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It consists of 56 Pillars and a pair of Arches surrounding a Plaza and Fountain.

    The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home.

    It's a stunning memorial from the view up to the Washington monument to the inspiring words on the wall and the stars depicting the number of fallen or missing soldiers. If you truly take the time to look at all the different elements that make up this remarkable landmark, every piece is symbolic from the location of the memorial itself.

    The monument is stunning in detail including a hidden "Kilroy Was Here" which gave me a chuckle.

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  • starship's Profile Photo

    The World War II Memorial

    by starship Updated Sep 17, 2013

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    The Atlantic Pavilion
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    The entry of the United States into World War II was brought on most decidedly by the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on December 7, 1941, followed by a declaration of war on the United States by Nazi German on December 11, 1941. Germany surrendered in May, 1945, and Japan officially surrendered in August, 1945 with the signing of the Instruments of Surrender on the deck of the American battleship USS Missouri on September 2, 1945; President Truman declared hostilities over for WWII on 31 December 1946.

    This particular Memorial is dedicated to 16 million U.S. troops who fought and the
    400,000 + who died in World War II . Although what might be considered the official end of WWII was almost 70 years ago, the idea of building a World War II Memorial was a long time coming to fruition and you have to wonder why that was. Authorized by Congress only in 1993, the memorial was built largely with private donations. Construction began in 2001 and the Memorial was dedicated in 2004.

    An architectural design competition was held and was won by Friedrich St. Florian, an Austrian who later became an American citizen. Beautifully symmetrical, each characteristic of the memorial has a distinct significance. The 56 pillars surrounding a very large, eliptical fountain and pool represent the U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia; the bronze wreaths oak & wheat attached to each pillar are symbols of two of the nation's sources of strength -- industry and agriculture -- both vital factors in the war effort. The "Freedom's Wall" located at the end closest to the "Reflecting Pool" features 4,000 gold stars representing the 400,000 men and women who gave their lives.

    The two pavilions at either end of the fountain elipse represent the war fought across the 2 oceans: Europe/Atlantic Ocean and Japan/Pacific Ocean. Each pavilion with wings holding wreaths aloft, Victory Medal and inscriptions marking key battles anchoring the memorial at each end give a feeling of substance and strength.

    My own favorite part of the memorial were the 12 bas-relief sculptures carved into each of the low, stone walls on each side of the grand entrance. Each relief sculpture depicts a scene of "America at War" with depictions of the US military but also including scenes of life here at home. They really put a "face" on the human aspect of this war, and I found I liked these sculptures so much that I felt they were the best part of the monument in my opinion.

    It was a shame that the huge fountain was not working when we visited because that would also have have made it all the more special.

    The Memorial has been designated as a part of the National Park System which cares for it and the grounds and as such provides park rangers who will answer all your questions about it.

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  • DEBBBEDB's Profile Photo

    Christmas Visit

    by DEBBBEDB Updated Aug 1, 2013

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    This memorial is operated by the National Park Service and is open to visitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is free. We usually go by there when we go to see the Christmas trees on the mall, and we take pictures of ourselves in front of the memorial to the soldiers of the state in which we were born.

    Or in Barb's case, in front of the memorials of the states which have the same names as her children. [She has some kind of thing about naming her children after western states] Her visit was in the summer.

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  • PinkFloydActuary's Profile Photo

    World War II Memorial

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Jul 20, 2013
    Plaza at WWII Memorial
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    One of the newest memorials on the mall (dedicated in 2004). This memorial goes to those who fought in World War 2.

    The memorial consists of 56 pillars representing each state and US territory that fought in the war. There are two large arches - for the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. The pillars surround a large fountain.

    Inside the memorial, there are pictures of scenes of the war experience as well as a wall of 4,048 gold
    stars - one represents 100 Americans who died in the war.

    I learned after the fact there are also a pair of "Killroy was here" inscriptions in the memorial, but I did not see either of them!

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  • antistar's Profile Photo

    National World War 2 Memorial

    by antistar Written Jun 12, 2013
    National World War 2 Memorial, Washington D.C.

    Looking every bit like it was designed to be part of the National Mall, the World War 2 Memorial was only recently established. Completed in 2002, after the Vietnam and Korean war memorials, it was constructed in a bit of a hurry to make sure there were still some veterans around to honour when it was finished.

    The memorial is designed to show the contributions of every US state and territory of the US, making for 56 pillars for each of the states of America, plus the District of Columbia, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the US Virgin Islands. The wings of the memorial designate the two combat arenas fought by American soldiers: the Atlantic and Pacific.

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  • etfromnc's Profile Photo

    "Political Correctness" engraved in stone

    by etfromnc Updated Aug 17, 2012

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    Remember the Greatest Generation and their God
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    I love my country more than just about anything in the world but I am very angry with my government, and that is not just the Executive Branch. "Political Correctness" seems to have taken over in the USA. We seem no longer to be concerned with what is right but what is popular. One of the most recent, and blatant, demonstrations of that perversion of truth is literally engraved on the Pacific wall of the relatively new World War II Memorial. There are quotes of some of the prominent figures of World War II engraved on the memorial including Vice President, and later President, Harry Truman, General of the Armies, and later President, Dwight Eisenhower, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In his speech announcing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the beginning of World War II in the Pacific, President Roosevelt concluded with the following words, "With confidence in our armed forces, with the abounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God." On the memorial, the final and, in the minds of many Americans, most important phrase of President Roosevelt's speech was omitted.
    It is a beautiful monument to millions of men and women who sacrificed so much to maintain freedom around the world and it is truly unfortunate that such an important memorial has been the subject of such controversy as to its location, disrupting the National Mall, and now its deliberate mis-statement of the speech which declared that we were at that moment in a state of war with Japan, a war which we could win with the combined efforts of our military, our people, and our God.
    The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home. Symbolic of the defining event of the 20th Century, the memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people. The Second World War is the only 20th Century event commemorated on the National Mall’s central axis.
    The memorial opened to the public on April 29, 2004 and was dedicated one month later on May 29. It is located on 17th Street, between Constitution and Independence Avenues, and is flanked by the Washington Monument to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west. The memorial is operated by the National Park Service and is open to visitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    World War II Memorial

    by GentleSpirit Written Aug 6, 2012

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    The Pacific arch
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    Located between the the Lincoln and Washington Memorial is the National World War II Memorial, which was inaugurated in 2004 to honor those who served in World War II.

    The Memorial itself consists of 56 pillars which represent the names of each of the states of the union as well as US territories. The two triumphal arches, one for the Atlantic and the other for the Pacific.

    On the west side of the Memorial is the Freedom Wall, where one star signifies 100 Americans who died in war. There are 4,048 golden stars. The inscription reads..."Here we mark the price of freedom."

    This memorial, in my opinion, stands out in many ways because its so different from the other Monuments and Memorials on the Mall. For one it represents a much larger conflict, so it is conceptually harder to capture easily. Some people criticized the selection of the design.

    I visited the Memorial when it first opened back in 2004 and remember seeing a good number of World War II veterans, sadly their number is dropping as the years move on. This Memorial honors the enormous sacrifices of that generation of Americans.

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  • Maria250's Profile Photo

    National WWII Memorial

    by Maria250 Updated Aug 18, 2011

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    National WWII Memorial
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    The National Memorial is dedicated to all who served during WW II, and it is to honor the 16 million who served with the American Armed Forces, and to honor the more than 400.000 who died. Symbolic of the defining event of the 20th Century, the Memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people. The Second World War is the only 20th Century event commemorated on the National Mall’s central axis.

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  • Gillybob's Profile Photo

    A place of openness

    by Gillybob Written May 14, 2011

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    WWII Memorial
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    The World War II Memorial in Washington DC is dedicated to those who served both in the armed forces and as civilians in World War II. It consists of 56 pillars and a pair of arches which surround a plaza, containing a fountain. It sits on the former site of the Rainbow Pool at the eastern end of the Reflecting Pool on National Mall, between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument.

    Opened to the public on 29 April 2004, it was dedicated by then President George W Bush on 29 May 2004. Like all memorials and monuments on the National Mall, it is administered by the National Park Service and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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  • moiraistyx's Profile Photo

    A GLORIOUS MEMORIAL

    by moiraistyx Updated Jun 16, 2010

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    World War II Memorial
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    I really wasn't sure what I would feel when I saw this beautiful monument in honor of 16 million men and women who served in the war and the 400,000 plus soldiers killed during the war. This is an absolutely amazing piece of work to see. In September of 2001 construction began on the monument. The memorial did not open to the public until April 29, 2004. and was followed by a dedication on Saturday, May 29, 2004. The memorial was designed by Friedrich St.Florian. Please see the website for more complete information about this wonderful memorial.

    I couldn't wait to come back and see this wonderful memorial. I was hoping to be hear as the sun went down, but alas, we don't always get what we want. Maybe next time.

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    World War II Memorial

    by richiecdisc Written Apr 25, 2010

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    WWII Memorial at Night
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    One of the most visually stunning monuments on the National Mall is also one of its newest. The World War II Memorial pays tribute to the 400,000 people who served in one of the most profound era-altering events in human history and is thus the only 20th century event to be so honored.

    Though given the go ahead in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, it was built between 2001 and 2004 when it was open to the public. The completely outdoor fountain based structure is open to the public 24 hours a day and is particularly stunning at night when it is completely lit up. There are also nice views of it from the Washington Monument.

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  • abi_maha's Profile Photo

    A Memorial For the Departed

    by abi_maha Written Sep 10, 2009

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    The Fountains
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    The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home. Symbolic of the defining event of the 20th Century, the memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people. The Second World War is the only 20th Century event commemorated on the National Mall’s central axis. We got here by just walking across the street from the Washington Monument, the cool waters of the fountain was a much needed means to relax from the heat! As AJ experimented with our Nikon we got some nice pics of the place :-)

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  • Herkbert's Profile Photo

    In Memory of the fallen

    by Herkbert Written Jul 24, 2009

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    Remembering the Pacific theater.
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    The World War II memorial is the newest memorial in the mall. Commemorating the 400,000 members of the armed forces who lost their lives and the 16 million americans that served in World War II.

    It's a beautiful monument and a worthy addition to the mall.

    It's hard to fathom that 70 million people lost their lives worldwide during the war and yet we still have countries fighting today.

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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    WW II Walter Lord, Author Quote

    by Yaqui Written Jun 6, 2009

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    This located to the left of the Pacific Pavilion. It reads:

    "Battle of Midway June 4-7, 1942
    They had no right to win. Yet they did, and in doing so they changed the course of a war….even against the greatest of odds, there is something in the human spirit- a magic blend of skill, faith and valor – that can lift men from certain defeat to the incredible victory. ~ Walter Lord, Author"

    Located on the National Mall in Washington, DC and dedicated to our 16 million men and women who served and over 400,000 who sacrificed their lives during this conflict from 1939 to 1945. The memorial was dedication was on May 29th, 2004. This memorial has another place in my heart because my mother served during this conflict as a WAC in France and England and boarded the Queen Mary for her return to Delhi, Oklahoma, her hometown.

    Open All Year

    Closures
    December 25th. Memorial may be secured for events celebrating National Independence Day.

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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    WWII General Douglas MacArthur Quote

    by Yaqui Written Jun 6, 2009

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    This is located to the right of the Pacific Pavilion. It reads:

    The War’s End
    Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won the skies no longer rain death – the seas bear only commerce men everywhere walk upright in the sunlight the entire world is quietly at peace. ~General Douglas MacArthur."

    Located on the National Mall in Washington, DC and dedicated to our 16 million men and women who served and over 400,000 who sacrificed their lives during this conflict from 1939 to 1945. The memorial was dedication was on May 29th, 2004. This memorial has another place in my heart because my mother served during this conflict as a WAC in France and England and boarded the Queen Mary for her return to Delhi, Oklahoma, her hometown.

    Open All Year

    Closures
    December 25th. Memorial may be secured for events celebrating National Independence Day.

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