WWII Memorial

The National WWII Memorial was the first monument dedicated to all of America's veterans who served fought in the Pacific, Europe, and on the home front during World War II. In total, more than 16 million men and women served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and 400,000 of these people gave their lives. One of the monuments on the National Mall, the WWII Memorial honors the spirit, courage, and commitments of Americans from towns large and small who served their county.

The roots of the National WWII Memorial Washington DC may not stretch back as far as you might think. It wasn't until the 1990s7mdash;when many of the veterans were entering their golden years—:that President Clinton authorized the creation of the monument. This WWII Memorial officially joined the Washington DC monuments scene in 2004. At this time, the American Battle Monuments Commission transferred the oversight to the National Park Service. Before this, the ABMC was instrumental in all that it did to create the monument, from the fundraising stage to construction.

Even if you're just driving by, the WWII Memorial Washington DC will catch your attention. Standing proud at the corner of 17th Street and Independence Avenue, the memorial is hard to miss. A mix of marble, bronze, and trees, the monument is a fitting tribute to the brave servicemen and women who answered the call of duty. Not far from the Washington Monument, the National WW II Memorial is worth a visit when you're exploring America's capital city.

Like the major monuments, you do not need to pay a penny to experience the WWII Memorial. As you step up to the park-like plaza, you'll sure to be inspired. Flanked by towering elm trees, the monument was designed to be at once grand and respectful of nature. As one of the free things to do in DC, you won't have to worry about purchasing tickets or standing in a line to see the WWII Memorial Washington DC.

Veterans and civilians alike are awed by this massive monument-the most striking element is are the twin arches, which tower 43 feet high. Each state or territory (as of the World War II era) is represented by a seventeen-foot-tall pillar, while a sea of gold stars to honor those who perished. Bronze relief panels tell the story of America during the war, and the seals of each branch of service are found at the base of the bronze and granite. You'll also find waterfalls and a reflecting pool. As you take the time to overlook the site, you can view the Lincoln Memorial in the distance, and you can ponder what it took for all of these Americans who went to war around the world some two generations after Lincoln lead the Union in the Civil War.

Limited parking is available between the Lincoln and the Jefferson Memorial, which fills up quickly. Handicapped parking can be found at the lot between the WWII Memorial and the FDR Memorial. If you don't want to worry about parking, consider hopping aboard public transportation. The closest Metro stop, 12th Street and Independence, is a ten- or fifteen-minute walk away. Many bus tours and trolley tours include the monuments on their schedule, with narration that fills you in on the creation of this stirring memorial.

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