Elizabeth G

Elizabeth Green
D.C. History
Period C

The World War II Memorial

In the late 20th century, the World War II memorial was built to resemble the 16 million lives
who served in the Armed Forces for the United States. This memorial expresses the freedom of our
nation and how we struggled to reach the respect that the United States deserved. The U.S. and
the World War II memorial became a strong resemblance to the nation which helped formed the
U.S. into a democracy.

Washington, D.C. is a symbol for the United States of America. In order for this symbol to show
some type of strength and democracy, the nation had to get through numerous wars especially
World War II. World War II happened began in 1939 and ended in 1945 in Europe and Asia. The
World War II was the second war ever to consist of three or more countries besides World War I.
When the countries were fighting in this war, this was also the first war to use nuclear which back
then was a killer and still now to this day. At the end of the war, the deaths in the war wee a
catastrophe consisting of 50 million deaths total.

During and After World War II, African Americans and women were treated unfairly even though
they contributed a lot to helping the U.S. win the war. In return,
African Americans were treated badly. There was still segregation going on where blacks couldn’t
eat in restaurants, segregated schools, and much more. Women just like African Americans were
treated differently but not segregated. Women couldn’t fight in the war as well as being aid to hurt
soldiers. This is what the disease that was spreading throughout the United States during the war
as well afterward.

“ United in this determination and with unshakable faith in the cause for which we fight, we
will, with God’s help, go forward to our greatest victory.” This quote was announced by General
Dwight D. Eisenhower when the U.S. was fighting in World War II. A couple of years later, on the
National Mall in Washington, D.C., the World War II memorial was proposed by President Clinton to
make into a public law on May 25, 1993. The designer of the World War II memorial is Friedrich St.
Florian from Providence, Rhode Island. Friedrich decided to locate the memorial east of the
reflection pool and in between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. When Friedrich
was playing the World War II memorial he wanted for the memorial to be “ the causes of peace
and freedom from tyranny throughout the world.” The memorial was finally opened to the public
April 29, 2004 but didn’t really dedicate the lives to the ones who died on May 29, 2004. The
funding for the whole project was by private contributions where they received a total of $197
million dollars in cash and pledges. Out of $ 197 million dollars in donations , the federal
government only funded $16 million. This demonstrates how much the government really wanted
out of the memorial. The federal government could have donated more money for the ones who
sacrificed their lives just so our nation would be a democracy. The struggle that the soldiers had to
face to become one through all the racial tension and inequality.
Why couldn’t he United States do the same?

During the visit to the World War II Memorial, two statues really stood out to me specifically.
The two statues that were the most meaningful was the freedom wall and Baldacchino. These two
figures inspired me the most to learn more about them and try to figure out why the designer
wanted to put these two beautiful pieces of artwork in the memorial. Also, the reason for their
connection to the lives that wee lost and shared in the memorial.[[http://www.wwiimemorial.com/construction/photos/photo.asp?picname=2004-5sky_view.jpg]] Baldacchino is a sculpture that was designed by Ray Kasky. Thee are four eagles holding a victory laurel in their beaks where all four of the eagles are all around a reef. Under the arches is a quote that is located on the ground that says, “Victory on Land, Victory on Sea, Victory In the Air.” This quote demonstrates all the victories that the U.S. won and the quote also pays tribute to all the fighters in the armed services.

[[http://www.wwiimemorial.com/construction/photos/photo.asp?picname=2004-5walk_thru.jpg]] The Freedom Wall in the WWII Memorial has 4,048 golden stars on it which each
star represents 100 Americans. In total, 400,048 Americans lost their lives in WWII fighting for the
strength of the nation as well as the symbol the U.S. represents. The creator of the Freedom Wall is sculptor Raymond Kaskey. The Freedom Wall was designed with bronze eagles and 24 bronze
bas reliefs panels that shows war scenes. A bas relief is an overall depth of an image where it is
shallow. The Freedom Wall was introduced to be placed on the memorial in September 2001.

Before the United States became a strong nation after the war, they had to go through the
turmoil of segregation of blacks, whites, and also women. The nation was already full of
discrimination in which where blacks and whites can eat, sleep, and play. African Americans were
slaves which many worked on plantations picking cotton, vegetables, and sugars for whites down in
the south. It was not much of a different story up in the north except for the fact that most African
Americans were free. Even though blacks had just as much rights as whites up in the north as
explained in the U.S. Constitution but in reality they were treated like they were still slaves and
that they weren’t emancipated.

In conclusion, the WWII Memorial was a vision that is shown how soldiers were equally treated
but in reality soldiers were treated unequally. Soldiers especially blacks still were suffering
segregation as well as post war trauma. Soldiers were going suicidal after coming home from war
which resulted in even more lives being destroyed. Throughout the trauma and sacrifice through the
war soldiers managed to come together as one as if race didn’t matter and served their country to
the fullest. The U.S. became a strong nation of democracy and a symbol for other countries to

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