The National World War II Memorial | Attraction Guides | History Hit

The National World War II Memorial

Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020

About The National World War II Memorial

The National World War II Memorial in Washington DC is a US monument commemorating the Second World War, particularly those who fought in the US armed forces and those civilians who assisted in and were affected by the conflict.

The National World War II Memorial history

The US entered the Second World War in 1941 as it declared war on Japan for its attack on Pearl Harbor. A staggering sixteen million US troops participated in the war.

The National World War II Memorial is dedicated both to the Americans who served in World War Two in the armed services—including the more than 400,000 dead—and to those who supported the war effort at home.

Its creation was authorised by Pres. Bill Clinton in May 1993. Its designer, architect Friedrich St. Florian, won a national open competition. The memorial was constructed between 2001 and 2004 and opened to the public on April 29, 2004; its official dedication took place a month later, on May 29.

The National World War II Memorial today

The National World War II Memorial is a circular fountain surrounded by fifty-six columns and two arches. To the west of the Memorial is a wall, known as the Freedom Wall, containing 4,048 stars, each representing 100 Americans who perished in the conflict. Also displayed are films and photographic depictions of the war and those who fought in it.

The columns around the perimeter of the ellipse represent the U.S. states and territories of the period as well as the District of Columbia. Each is adorned with a bronze oak-and-wheat wreath and inscribed with the state or territory’s name. The pillars are linked with a bronze sculpted rope, symbolizing the country’s unified effort during the war. Quotations from prominent military and political figures are featured throughout the memorial.

The National Mall and Memorial Parks is open 24 hours a day. The early evening and morning hours are beautiful and tranquil times to visit. The World War II Memorial fountains are turned off for winter from approximately December through March.

Getting to the National World War II Memorial

The memorial is located at the east end of the Reflecting Pool on the Mall, opposite the Lincoln Memorial and west of the Washington Monument. The is easiest to travel on foot to see the various monuments and memorials in the surrounding area. Public transport options include the Metro and the National Mall Circulator Loop bus.

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