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WW2 Veterans Honored with Honor Flights to DC Monument

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World War 2 Monument, National Mall, Lincoln Memorial by Public domain, courtesy wiki commons

The granite and bronze World War II monument encompasses 7.4 acres, about the size of a football field, and is defined by a large oval located in the center of the mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. Most of the $172 million to build it was raised through private contributions.

WW2 Memorial Monument by Meryl Ann Butler

WW2 Memorial, Pacific arch by Meryl Ann Butler

At its north and south entrances, huge, 43-foot archways represent the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of the war. Inside the oval is a wall with 4,000 gold stars, each star representing 100 American deaths.

Vets pose for a photo at the WW2 Memorial by Meryl Ann Butler

One of the 24 bronze bas reliefs that flank the ceremonial entrance by Meryl Ann Butler


With memorials already in place to Korean and Viet Nam veterans, everyone agreed that WW2 vets were not only entitled to a memorial, but that it was inexplicably overdue. Nevertheless, both the location of the memorial as well as the style, have been topics of strong debate, even among veterans.

WW2 Memorial Monument by Meryl Ann Butler

Placing the huge memorial in the center of the mall's wide, 2-mile stretch from the Capitol building to the Washington monument raised controversy. The unencumbered open space was originally designed to symbolize freedom and provided an area sympathetic to the unfettered gathering of the people.

Planning Map of the National Mall, 1901 by courtesy wiki commons

Many iconic gatherings on the mall have been characterized by a large mass of citizens coming together in unity, including Marian Anderson's 1939 recital from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, the Million Man March, the Million Mom March, and the display of the AIDS quilt.

Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech on the mall by public domain courtesy wiki commons

Before the monument was built, USA Today said, "There's nothing wrong with the proposed National World War II Memorial that a change of location wouldn't fix."

Seven possible sites had been considered, and the Constitution Gardens site was initially selected. According to the National Coalition to Save Our Mall, "the Memorial was moved to the Rainbow Pool site " without proper public notice ... (and) the design violates the National Historic Preservation Act by adversely changing this historic area."

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing for over 25 years. She studied art with Harold Ransom Stevenson in Sea Cliff NY for seven years before opening her own art school. Stevenson had (more...)

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for writing such an appropriate article for this V... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Nov 11, 2010 at 5:06:18 AM
my comment below...it wasn't meant with any disres... by zonie on Thursday, Nov 11, 2010 at 7:31:22 AM
I'm glad you liked the article, I have been workin... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Nov 11, 2010 at 11:37:58 AM
before he went on this trip. Walt was shot twice a... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Nov 11, 2010 at 2:52:08 PM
You did a FABULOUS job of finding a way to offer a... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Nov 11, 2010 at 3:01:41 PM
and it's very timely that you're writing about it.... by Joan Brunwasser on Thursday, Nov 11, 2010 at 5:16:46 PM
glad you liked the article! I just got a nice emai... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Nov 11, 2010 at 5:44:06 PM
These people honored their oaths to this nation. ... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Nov 11, 2010 at 6:58:14 PM
"I wish that each member in our government were re... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Nov 11, 2010 at 7:18:26 PM
my husband and I were talking about. I think if y... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Nov 11, 2010 at 7:22:23 PM
My son just called to say thank you to both my hus... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Nov 11, 2010 at 8:45:05 PM
thanks for sharing so we can all bask in your glow... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Nov 11, 2010 at 9:58:31 PM