An inscription at the memorial reads, “Here in the presence of Washington and Lincoln, one the eighteenth century father and the other the nineteenth century preserver of our nation, we honor those twentieth century Americans who took up the struggle during the second world war and made the sacrifices to perpetuate the gift our forefathers entrusted in us: a nation conceived in liberty and justice.” This beautiful and poignant inscription can be found on the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.
I was recently on a travel podcast about the best places to visit in the fall, and Washington D.C. made the list. I then realized that even though I have been to the capital a few times, I haven’t seen the World War II Memorial yet. The podcast made me ready to go back and see it!
The World War II Memorial is located in the National Mall, which is the green space in the middle of the capital city containing many of our nation’s most beloved monuments, such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
In 2004, the World War II Memorial was finally complete. It gives recognition to the 16 million members of the Armed Forces of America who participated in the war. It also honors the millions of Americans who supported the war effort from the home front and the 405,399 individuals who, sadly, lost their lives to the war.
At the memorial's dedication, tens of thousands of veterans from World War II reunited on the National Mall. It was wonderful to see so many veterans together again for such a special occasion in their honor.
The memorial’s entrance is made up of 24 bronze bas-relief panels that tell the story of America’s experience in the war. Inside, granite columns, representing every state and territory during the war, line a large pool with water shooting up into the air. There are also numerous quotes and references to the various war theaters, campaigns, and battles throughout, as well as two victory pavilions and a wall of 4,048 gold stars for those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the war.
Sounds stunning, right? Who’s ready to travel to Washington D.C. with me?