Welcome to my page dedicated to the National World War II Memorial.
“Here We Mark the Price of Freedom”
There were 420,000 American casualties during World War II. The devastating loss of lives was seen as close to home as Hawaii and as far away as the Philippines. The National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. serves as the nation’s commemorative site for our American heroes.
The memorial is constructed in such a way as to honor the Americans that served in each military branch and in each theater of the war. There are four main sections of the memorial: The plaza, pavilion, pillars, and commemorative area.
The memorial plaza and Rainbow Pool are the primary features of the memorial, uniting the rest of the sections of the memorial together. The granite bases on which American flags are flown depict the military service seals of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Army Air Forces, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marines.
On the north and south sides of the plaza emerge two 43-foot pavilions. An integral part of the design of the pavilions are bronze columns supporting four American eagles holding a suspended victory laurel which symbolizes the victory of the WWII generation. To celebrate the victory in the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters, the floor of the pavilion has an etching of the WWII victory medal and the years “1941-1945,” marking the period of United States’ involvement in the war. Also included in the inscription are “Victory on Land,” “Victory at Sea” and, “Victory in the Air.”
There are 56 pillars lining the memorial to illustrate the unprecedented unity of the nation, and are connected by a bronze rope to symbolize the bond.
My favorite part of the memorial that brings everything into perspective is the Freedom Wall. There are 4,000 gold stars on the wall to honor the 420,000 Americans who sacrificed their life in World War II. During the war, the gold star was the symbol of family sacrifice. Inscribed under the wall is the phrase “Here We Mark the Price Of Freedom.”
The digital elements that I have incorporated strive to depict the important moments highlighted in the memorial.
My charts depict the number of service men during World War II. There were approximately 28 million in the Army, 9 million in the Navy, and 1 million in the Marine Corps. Out of those figures, the Army saw 318,000 casualties, 63,000 in the Navy, and 25,000 in the Marine Corps.
My two maps illustrate how far the war took the United States geographically and in how many countries service men were lost. The first map highlights important moments during World War II. Although there are many more to mention, I indicated the ones reflected upon in the memorial. These include Pearl Harbor, D-Day, and the Battle of Midway. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into the Second World War in 1941 until Japanese surrender in 1945. D-Day marked the beginning of the end of the war in Europe. This invasion of German-occupied Europe led to the liberation of France and was a huge factor in the Allied victory. The Battle of Midway was a naval engagement in which the United States caused a devastating blow to the Japanese Imperial Navy. This has been considered to be the turning point of the war in the Pacific. All three of these events are commemorated in the memorial with quotes in prominent locations, and on my first map, for their crucial role in World War II.
In terms of preservation of the National World War II Memorial , the 7.4 acres the memorial sits on, and the memorial itself, are well taken care of. The Rainbow Pool and waterworks have been completely restored. The elm trees have been replanted and there is a plan to replace any unhealthy trees on the premises. In addition, the lawn has been re-seeded. Granite was chosen as the material for the memorial because it does not require much maintenance. It is strong, durable, and most importantly, resistant.
The National World War II memorial works in conjunction with the World War II Registry which allows families to search for loved ones who served in the war. There are three official U.S. Government databases that include the names of those buried in AMBC overseas military cemeteries, memorialized on AMBC Tablets of the Missing, and those listed on War and Navy Department Killed in Service rosters held by NARA. There is a fourth unofficial database to honor Americans who assisted in the war’s victory. This is just one of the ways World War II heroes are being honored and remembered.
AMBC- American Battle Monuments Commission
NARA- National Archives and Records Administration
The official website for the National World War II Memorial can be accessed here.
1750 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20006