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World War II Memorial Opens to Public
Yahoo! News ^ | Apr 29, 2004 | JENNIFER C. KERR

Posted on 04/29/2004 11:33:14 AM PDT by yonif

WASHINGTON - A national monument to the 16 million U.S. men and women who served during World War II opened to the public Thursday, giving veterans of that era a sense of recognition some say was long overdue but well worth the wait.

"It is beautiful," declared World War II veteran and former Marine George Lynch. "To see this memorial after all these years is absolutely marvelous."

The granite and bronze monument features waterfalls, fountains, and a curved wall bedecked with gold stars to represent the more than 400,000 who gave their lives in the war.

On its opening day, under glorious sunshine, the memorial immediately helped introduce another generation to the heroism that brought victory to America and its allies.

As the first visitors, hundreds of schoolchildren raced down two entrance ramps after receiving a stern warning from the U.S. Park Service not to throw any coins into the many fountains because they stain the granite.

The children shouted and pointed, exclaiming "Oh, cool!" and "Look at that!"

Zach Richter, 14, of Newtown, Conn., whose grandfather served in World War II, said he couldn't wait to get home to call him and let him know his grandson was one of the first visitors.

"He's proud that people are finally recognizing him," said Richter, who was with 400 other 8th-graders from Newtown Middle School.

The memorial has been almost two decades in the making. While the formal dedication ceremony is still a month away, project organizers raced to put the finishing touches on the memorial so the ever-dwindling number of veterans from that era can visit it.

America's World War II vets are dying at a rate of 1,056 a day, the Veterans Affairs Department estimates. Fewer than 4 million will be alive at the time of the Memorial Day weekend dedication.

Until now, veterans and tourists have only been able to peek at the memorial through wire fencing surrounding the site or from a small walkway on one end. Now that the fences are down, visitors can roam freely about the memorial, which sits prominently between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall.

Equal in size to the length of a football field, the memorial has two hulking 43-foot arches at each end. One is marked Atlantic, the other Pacific — symbolizing the two theaters of the war.

Fifty-six smaller granite pillars adorned with two bronze wreaths form the oval shape of the memorial and encircle a sunken plaza and pool. The pillars represent each state and territory from that period, and the District of Columbia.

The $174 million project is the culmination of years of arm-twisting and fund raising by veterans, including former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole. From schoolchildren to corporations, more than $195 million was raised. The remaining money will be put in a trust fund for future use.

The dedication next month is expected to draw a big crowd. Some 117,000 free tickets were snapped up in a matter of weeks, and there's a waiting list with 50,000 names on it.

President Bush (news - web sites) and all the living former presidents have been invited to the event.

The Smithsonian Institution (news - web sites) is planning four days of festivities on the National Mall to coincide with the May 29 dedication ceremony.

"We certainly think this could be the largest gathering of World War II veterans in one place since war ended in 1945," said Jim Deutsch, program curator for the National World War II Reunion.

At the "Tribute to a Generation," there will be two stages playing music from the 1940s from the Ink Spots, the Artie Shaw Orchestra and others.

Eight tents will cover four blocks along the Mall. In one tent, veterans can reunite with old comrades. And under another, veterans will share their stories and experiences. Dole and former Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. George McGovern are among those expected to speak.

"What we're interested in learning about is what World War II meant to members of this generation," Deutsch said.

____

On the Net: World War II Memorial: http://www.wwiimemorial.com

Smithsonian's Tribute to a Generation: http://www.folklife.si.edu


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: hughhewitt; wwii; wwiimemorial
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1 posted on 04/29/2004 11:33:14 AM PDT by yonif
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To: yonif
Going to see it this weekend. From what I saw as they were building it, they did a great job.
2 posted on 04/29/2004 11:35:24 AM PDT by Modernman (Work is the curse of the drinking classes. -Oscar Wilde)
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To: yonif
Can't wait to see it.
3 posted on 04/29/2004 11:44:33 AM PDT by SquirrelKing ("...US Marines have done more for world peace than all the Ben & Jerry's ever made." - PJ O'Rourke)
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To: Modernman
I have to admit, I didn't like the placement of the monument at first, and some of the early designs were just way too huge for the space. But now that I see a picture of it, I like it. WWII was a pivotal moment in our nation's history, when we moved to superpower status, and the brave men and women of WWII deserve all the recognition we can give them for what they did in service to humanity.
4 posted on 04/29/2004 11:44:37 AM PDT by egarvue (Martin Sheen is not my president...)
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To: yonif
Long overdue. My father, who went through the entire Pacific theatre, would be proud of it were he with us.
5 posted on 04/29/2004 11:45:22 AM PDT by pt17
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To: yonif
This one is for you Dad. Thanks.
6 posted on 04/29/2004 11:47:18 AM PDT by pete anderson
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To: Modernman
I am a charter member of the Memorial Association. Dad and Mom are long gone but they would be proud of the memorial. Dad was in the Army Air Corps and Mom tested ammunition at the Sunflower Ammunition Plant. I'm so glad this memorial finally got built.
7 posted on 04/29/2004 11:48:03 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: egarvue
It isn't nearly as ostentatious as it appeared in the drawings I saw. It seems to blend in nicely with the area but is still impressive. They did a good job.
8 posted on 04/29/2004 11:50:45 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: yonif
I hate to be a bummer, but how long before the Dems and their ilk or the Religion of Peace deface it?

9 posted on 04/29/2004 11:52:37 AM PDT by BushisTheMan
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To: skeeter
An added plus is it'll sit right in the middle of all future leftie-kook rallies on-the-mall.
10 posted on 04/29/2004 11:52:39 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: yonif
Given how bad some recent monuments have been, I expected this one to be horrible. But from the photos above, I seem to be wrong.

It's beautiful. Kudos to all involved.
11 posted on 04/29/2004 11:55:12 AM PDT by GreenLanternCorps (Hit Tagline, Win Suit - Abe Stark)
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To: BushisTheMan
May I be first in line to castrate and disembowel any person who defaces this monument?
12 posted on 04/29/2004 11:58:04 AM PDT by GreenLanternCorps (Hit Tagline, Win Suit - Abe Stark)
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To: GreenLanternCorps
My father a WWII Navy Veteran who passed away last month is looking down with pride on that monument. Nearly $500 was sent to the monument in his name by friends and family.

In Memory of Clarence D. Glenn USS Mississippi BB41
which gallantly fought in numerous engagements with the Japanese, including, Peleliu, the battle of Surigao Strait, the largest sea battle ever, and Okinawa. His ship was twice struck by kamikazes. He was proud of his service and of his ship’s proud record. It is recalled that the first words his children were taught to spell was m-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i-.

13 posted on 04/29/2004 12:13:17 PM PDT by USNFighting31st
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To: GreenLanternCorps
And knock a couple of teeth out while you are at it for me! Thanks!
14 posted on 04/29/2004 12:13:21 PM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: skeeter
It isn't nearly as ostentatious as it appeared in the drawings I saw. It seems to blend in nicely with the area but is still impressive.

Yes, it is!!

15 posted on 04/29/2004 12:15:10 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: Howlin; 1Mike; 3catsanadog; ~Vor~; ~Kim4VRWC's~; A CA Guy; A Citizen Reporter; abner; Aeronaut; ...
Take a look at this!
16 posted on 04/29/2004 12:17:05 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: Howlin
WOW I hadn't seen an aerial shot yet!
17 posted on 04/29/2004 12:21:29 PM PDT by OXENinFLA (War means fighting and fighting means killing. ----------- PATTON)
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To: Howlin
Very long overdue............
18 posted on 04/29/2004 12:22:13 PM PDT by deport (To a dog all roads lead home.......)
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To: yonif
It is beautiful!
19 posted on 04/29/2004 12:23:42 PM PDT by annyokie (There are two sides to every argument, but I'm too busy to listen to yours.)
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To: leadpenny; Coop; MJY1288; xsmommy
Places to see!
20 posted on 04/29/2004 12:24:03 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: Howlin
It is beautiful.Long past due.
21 posted on 04/29/2004 12:24:44 PM PDT by MEG33 (John Kerry's been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security!)
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To: deport
I was mesmerized by Band of Brothers on the History Channel last week. I am now reading the Stephen Ambrose book on which the miniseries was based, and I bought the DVD set of the show just today. What those men endured to save civilization was nothing short of amazing. It's well past time for this memorial.
22 posted on 04/29/2004 12:27:32 PM PDT by joeyGibson
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To: OXENinFLA
I can't tell if the aerial shot is real or not. I'm sure that's about what it looks like, regardless.
23 posted on 04/29/2004 12:27:50 PM PDT by Nexus
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To: deport
WW II Registry
24 posted on 04/29/2004 12:29:18 PM PDT by deport (To a dog all roads lead home.......)
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To: Howlin
It's beautiful and I look forward to seeing it .. God Bless them all

This is the Division my father was in

The 69th Infantry Division during World War II.

25 posted on 04/29/2004 12:29:20 PM PDT by Mo1 (Make Michael Moore cry.... DONATE MONTHLY!!!)
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To: yonif
Tom Hanks may be a typical Hollywood liberal but he deserves kudos for help bringing this to fruition.
26 posted on 04/29/2004 12:32:13 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: All
According to the Yahoo caption, is is an actual photo, by AP photographer Lauren Burke:

The World War II Memorial, foreground, and the Lincoln Memorial, background are seen from the Washington Monument Thursday, April 29, 2004. A national monument to the 16 million U.S. men and women who served during World War II opened to the public Thursday and immediately helped introduce another generation to the heroism that brought victory to America and its allies. (AP Photo/Lauren Burke)

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/040429/480/wx10104291611

I love responding to my own posts...
27 posted on 04/29/2004 12:32:55 PM PDT by Nexus
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To: lodwick; Cuttnhorse; operation clinton cleanup; Servant of the 9; catpuppy; null and void; ...
PING
28 posted on 04/29/2004 12:33:06 PM PDT by Mo1 (Make Michael Moore cry.... DONATE MONTHLY!!!)
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To: deport
The granite and bronze memorial lies at the eastern end of the Lincoln Memorial's Reflecting Pool.

The core of the site is a small Rainbow Pool and fountain, restored after years of disuse, which sits 6 feet below street level. The effect is that the memorial appears to be slightly submerged. From a distance, only the tops of the taller structures are visible. Supporters say that tempers concerns that the project interrupts the vista along Mall.

Fifty-six stone pillars representing the 48 states in the union at the time of the war, seven U.S. territories, including Alaska and Hawaii, and the District of Columbia encircle the newly renovated pool and fountains. But the feeling of enclosure is lessened by the openness between the pillars, through which the trees beyond the perimeter and sky are visible.

Two 43-foot arches stand amid the pillars on the north and south ends to symbolize the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of operations, each with large bronze eagles to represent victory.

At the western end is the Freedom Wall with its 4,000 gold sculpted stars. The 407,316 U.S. deaths they symbolize are roughly seven times the Vietnam War's total and hundreds of times more than Iraq's thus far.

The memorial's architect, Friedrich St. Florian, has said that his design isn't meant to glorify war. Rather, it's to memorialize victory.

World War II Memorial comes into full view this week


29 posted on 04/29/2004 12:34:42 PM PDT by deport (To a dog all roads lead home.......)
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To: Euro-American Scum
You might like to see this. ;-)
30 posted on 04/29/2004 12:36:28 PM PDT by NRA2BFree
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To: deport
National WW II Web Site
31 posted on 04/29/2004 12:37:25 PM PDT by deport (To a dog all roads lead home.......)
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To: yonif
After years of mostly silence, my WWII dad finally spoke publicly about his war experiences. It is amazing what he and those other young men went through, as they went to various Pacific islands during that conflict. He wound up back in the states after several really close calls, and was in training for an assault on Japan when the training class disbanded due to the end of the war. After annual reunions with his buddies for years and years, they don't get together now, due to their few number and advancing age. Yes, this monument is wonderful.
32 posted on 04/29/2004 12:56:18 PM PDT by YepYep
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To: deport; Howlin
Thanks for the link and the ping. Found my father and two of his brothers (who didn't make it home) in the Registry. Eyes full of tears....
33 posted on 04/29/2004 12:57:51 PM PDT by Quilla
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To: deport; doug from upland; ALOHA RONNIE; DLfromthedesert; PatiPie; flamefront; onyx; ...
From www.wwiimemorial.com:
High-Resolution Images
 
 
Click on an image below to open the high-resolution image.
 

  West View
Rendering by Joe McKendry


Watercolor Overview of the Memorial
East View
Rendering by Joe McKendry


Overview of the Memorial
 

  Atlantic Arch
Rendering by Joe McKendry


Atlantic Arch
Field of Gold Stars
Rendering by Joe McKendry


Stars
 

  Atlantic Arch + Plaza
Rendering by Michael McCann


Watercolor of the Arch
Pacific Arch + Plaza
Rendering by Michael McCann


Watercolor of the Memorial
 

  Atlantic Arch with
Washington Monument

Rendering by Joowan Lee


Atlantic Arch with Washington Monument
View From 17th Street
Rendering by Joowan Lee


View From 17th Street

34 posted on 04/29/2004 1:00:47 PM PDT by RonDog
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To: Howlin; deport; Mo1
It's stunningly beautiful.
I want to see it.
35 posted on 04/29/2004 1:03:56 PM PDT by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh and Benedict Arnold)
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To: yonif
Sometimes I think of what those times must have been like for the families and those left at home. No internet or tv, they listened to radio broadcast, read the papers and watched newsreels for information on what was happening. Waiting. Waiting for precious letters to arrive, and writing them too.

Maybe working for the war effort here at home. Factory jobs. Rationing, gas and sugar and other things. Rubber drives, paper drives. And a whole lot of patriotism, though perhaps not without hearing at least occasional opposition to the war.

Those who came home and those who didn't. I guess that's pretty much the same as today and every war, except perhaps for the numbers of casualties. Wondering, worrying and praying. That hasn't changed either.

I hope their media was more reliable and less biased than ours is today. The memorial looks beautiful. I hope I get the opportunity to visit it.

Prairie
36 posted on 04/29/2004 1:23:48 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (My dad, a WWII veteran always said that America's best ally was...Britain. He was right.)
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To: yonif
I still don't understand why they decided not to include
the Merchant Marines in the memorial, other than that, it looks great.
37 posted on 04/29/2004 1:28:47 PM PDT by Hanging Chad
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To: deport
Just found this in the registry. JFK's brother:

"Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. BRANCH OF SERVICE U.S. Navy HOMETOWN Hyannis Port, MA HONORED BY The John W. Kessler Family, Family Friends ACTIVITY DURING WWII AS NAVAL AVIATOR, SERVED IN ENGLAND WITH FIRST NAVAL SQUADRON TO FLY B-24S WITH THE BRITISH NAVAL COMMAND. AFTER COMPLETING HIS TOUR OF DUTY, VOLUNTEERED FOR HIGH RISK ASSIGNMENT ON WHICH HE LOST HIS LIFE AUGUST 12, 1944: PROJECT ANVIL, A MISSION TO DESTROY A GERMAN V-1 ROCKET LAUNCHING SITE IN NORMANDY. POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED THE NAVY CROSS AND AIR MEDAL. "

38 posted on 04/29/2004 1:32:58 PM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (PS, Kim Jong il's son WAS busted by Japanese police, on his way to Tokyo Disneyland)
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To: yonif; snippy_about_it; PhilDragoo; colorado tanker; Professional Engineer; radu; bentfeather; ...
Bump
39 posted on 04/29/2004 1:43:47 PM PDT by SAMWolf (War is God's way of teaching us geography)
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To: yonif; SAMWolf
Beautiful and long over due.
40 posted on 04/29/2004 1:47:16 PM PDT by Soaring Feather (~The Dragon Flies' Lair~ Poetry and Prose~)
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To: yonif
It sure looks better then it did in the drawings.
41 posted on 04/29/2004 1:52:01 PM PDT by McGavin999 (If Kerry can't deal with the "Republican Attack Machine" how is he going to deal with Al Qaeda)
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To: Howlin
Looks great. I didn't like the artists rendering but now that it's up it's beautiful.
42 posted on 04/29/2004 1:53:15 PM PDT by McGavin999 (If Kerry can't deal with the "Republican Attack Machine" how is he going to deal with Al Qaeda)
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To: NRA2BFree
You might like to see this. ;-)

I'd love to be there for the dedication, but I'll be on my way to Normandy.

43 posted on 04/29/2004 2:23:08 PM PDT by Euro-American Scum (A poverty-stricken middle class must be a disarmed middle class)
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To: prairiebreeze
As I understand it, the media of WWII era were decidedly more pro-American, knowing we were at war. Even so, the military did not allow many embedded reporters, only trusted a very few. The newreels at the movies were a highly important source for war news.
44 posted on 04/29/2004 2:37:39 PM PDT by YepYep (ah, sure, an we luv ya Sean)
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To: deport
Many thanks for that link. I was able to find info on a cousin who was killed over Leipzig in 1945. I have been searching for such info for several years.

Thanks again.
45 posted on 04/29/2004 2:44:29 PM PDT by jackbill
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To: jackbill
If you know enough details you can at least enter his name on the Registery........ I think that is a free service.
46 posted on 04/29/2004 2:57:58 PM PDT by deport (To a dog all roads lead home.......)
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To: deport
I sure as he!! don't need it, but if it pleases yall, okay...
47 posted on 04/29/2004 3:28:27 PM PDT by westmex (To he!! with it all)
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To: SAMWolf
COOL!
48 posted on 04/29/2004 3:52:00 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (Welcome to the Free Republic ~ You can logout any time you like, but you can't ever leave.)
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To: westmex
Apparently you are a Vet. I am curious as to why you feel that way--care to share your feelings?
49 posted on 04/29/2004 4:09:47 PM PDT by Snoopers-868th
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To: Trout-Mouth
I would have rather seen the civilization we left the country at the end of the war preserved....I look around now and see it in an advanced stage of decay

Look at my profile for a little of my history..Before I went into service I was helping build B-17s and DB-7s at Boeing in Seattle

50 posted on 04/29/2004 4:18:30 PM PDT by westmex (To he!! with it all)
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