The World War II Memorial is located between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, a reflection of the importance of World War II in preserving the democratic ideals created under George Washington and defended under Abraham Lincoln.

Dedicated on May 29, 2004, the memorial is really beautiful. An oval design of water with two fountains has two semicircles on each end, each semicircle consisting of 28 pillars and a triumphal arch.

Each 17-foot tall pillar has the name of either one of the 56 U.S. states, territories or the District of Columbia. They alternate, to the right and left, based on when the State or territory entered the Union. The wreaths of oak and wheat on each pillar symbolize the nation's industrial and agricultural strength, both of which were essential to the success of the global war effort.

The northern pavilion is dedicated to the Atlantic conflict.

The southern pavilion is dedicated to the Pacific conflict.

Inscriptions at the base of the pavilion fountains mark key battles of the war on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides.

On the floor of each pavilion is a replicate of the World War II Victory Medal that was given to each person who served in the war.

The Freedom Wall hold 4,048 gold stars. Each gold star represents 100 service personnel who died or are missing in the war. The 405,399 American dead and missing from World War II are second only to the loss of 620,000 Americans during the Civil War.

The memorial is free and open 24 hours a day. Park Rangers are on duty daily from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and to provide interpretive programs every hour on the hour from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.

All photos in this blog post were taken by my husband and me during our visit in September, 2013.

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