World War II Memorial
On the National Mall between the Washington Monument in the East and the Lincoln Memorial in the West the National World War II Memorial is located. It is dedicated to both the civilians and armed forces serving during the war. Opening in 2004 this memorial’s design is oval and has 56 granite pillars, 17 ft. high, in a semi-circle around the plaza which is 337 ft long and 240 feet wide. Each pillar has two bronze wreaths, one of wheat and one of the oak leaves. The pillars represent the 48 U.S. states along with the District of Columbia, US territories (of the time) of Hawaii and Alaska, the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico represented during WWII. There are two 43-foot triumphal arches on either end of the oval, representing the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters. Each arch has four bronze Eagles holding a massive wreath inside and on the floor of each is the World War II Victory Medal. There are 24 bronze bas relief panels on the walls of the memorial, one set showing scenes occurring during the war and another set depicting soldiers progressing from the beginning of their service to actual combat. The wall on the West side of the memorial is called “Freedom Wall” which has a view of the Reflecting Pool and Lincoln Memorial. This wall has 4,048 gold stars on it each one representing 100 Americans that died during the war (405,399 soldiers). The Freedom Mall is inscribed with the words “Here we mark the price of freedom.” Over half of this memorial is taken up by a large central reflecting pool and fountains.