World War II Memorial

On a recent trip to Washington, DC, I visited the National Mall late one rainy evening. I think that my favorite memorial was the World War II Memorial, which I’d somehow missed on an earlier trip. The beauty of the fountains and the soothing sounds of the water splashing into the pool drew me in immediately.

The memorial designed by Friedrich St. Florian opened on April 29, 2004. The official dedication, May 27 – 30, 2004, was a celebration filled with reunions for World War II veterans.



Citizens and veterans alike enjoyed big band music from that era. Family activities, a display of military equipment, and a Wartime Stories Tent were among the activities enjoyed by about 315,000 over the four-day celebration. President George W. Bush spoke at the formal dedication.

The spacious memorial is adjacent to the Reflecting Pool. The Lincoln Memorial can be clearly seen from the fountains inside the memorial.

World War II Memorial honors the sixteen million who served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

Also honored are millions of citizens on the home front, who sacrificed throughout the war to support our troops. They bought War Bonds. They endured rationing of many common staples like sugar, butter, coal, gasoline, and shoes. Quotes etched on the walls honor their sacrifice.

Four thousand golden stars on a curved Freedom Wall serve as a memorial to the 405,399 Americans who died in the war. Each star represents 100 deaths by our American military. In front of the wall is a granite engraving: “Here we mark the price of freedom.”

-Sandra Merville Hart



Murray, Lorraine. “National World War II Memorial, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2019/10/22

“National WWII Memorial,” National WWII Memorial Washington D.C., 2019/10/22

“World War II Memorial,” National Park Service, 2019/10/22