In 2004, the World War II Memorial became instantly popular with many of the visitors as they viewed the unveiling. Many World War II veterans were there to witness this formal dedication. The memorial was designed by Frederick St. Florian who was a former chief of the School of Design located in Rhode Island. The World War II Memorial shows the clear relationship between the battlefront and the home-front during World War II. It helps Americans to understand the reliance that each front has each other and for the sacrifices of all Americans during World War II.
The monument is located in West Potomac Park. The monument has an announcement stone on the east side which explains the memorial’s context. The announcement begins by saying “Here in the presence of Washington and Lincoln.” This beginning announcement will help all visitors to the memorial understand the commitment and meaning of this historic site as a tribute to the many sacrifices by Americans during World War II.
As a visitor continues from the east into the memorial, there will be a noticeable distinct symbolic symmetry. The memorial’s north side highlights the tribute of the victory over the European Axis while the memorial’s south side does the same in regards to the victory in the Pacific. Visitors to Washington DC will also notice 12 bronze reliefs that are on the walls of the memorial as you approach from either side of Ceremonial Plaza.
These reliefs are placed in chronological order and highlight the experiences of the battles on the home-front, on the sea, on land, and in the air. There are images of troops as they were landing on beaches in Normandy and the South Pacific. There are other images of factory workers and farmers doing their part from back home. There are also celebratory images of Allied troops and American troops shaking hands at the end of the war. Some celebratory images include the dancing in American streets by American civilians after the war has been declared over. The Rainbow Pool provides a fitting juncture and is now an integral part of the World War II Memorial.
In the memorial’s center, you will be surrounded by statements from President Harry Truman, President Roosevelt, and many of the commanding officers of the US military. The statements provide a clear understanding of the war in general. The memorial also contains many small fountains and victory pavilions that include various names of great battles in both the Pacific and the Atlantic.
Inside of the victory pavilions is a World War II victory medal centered on the floor. It depicts the goddess Nike of Greece as she heralds a new dawn and era of peace. Above the victory medal, you will notice four bald eagles which are symbols of not only the United States but also the Army, the Air Force, the Marines, and the Navy. Also, you will notice a large field of golden stars on the west side of the memorial. Each of these gold stars represents 100 dead Americans from the war. There are over 4000 of these golden stars which represent over 400,000 dead Americans. The World War II Memorial continues to be one of the more popular attractions in Washington, DC.