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Ways to Experience National World War II Memorial
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Reviewed April 4, 2018

But it looks like it was built during Mussolini’s era. It was a long time coming and the result is underwhelming

Thank 73niniane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 4, 2018

We had a brief stop in DC and stopped to see the WW2 memorial as my Dad fought in WW2 as well as my wife's uncle. Very nicely done with each State represented. Of course, I had to take a picture with Texas. A great way to honor our WW2 veterans. They also listed the major fighting areas and they had the one my Dad was in Alsace - Lorraine, near the France - German border. You also get a nice view of the Washington Monument from here. Stop by and have a look.

Thank Ron K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 4, 2018

Unlike the other monuments in the National Mall, this is much more traditional and formal. It’s all arches and pillars and grand design, reflecting I suppose, the vast scale of WWII.
Compared to the other memorials, I found this one a little impersonal. It didn't have the same emotional impact that the Korean or Vietnam War Memorials did and it was difficult to relate to it on a personal or emotional level.
It helped to know a few of the design details because I found that the symbolism wasn't immediately obvious otherwise. For example:
• the two main arches at either end symbolise the Pacific and Atlantic areas of fighting
• the 56 pillars represent the United States & the territories
• the wall with stars is the Freedom Wall - each of the 4,048 gold stars represents 100 American soldiers who died or were missing
Look out for the small bronze relief panels on the walls that show scenes of different wartime activities. These give you a bit more insight into the lives of people during the war. There are 24 of them but even if you just look at a few, they help a little to bring WWII to life.
We were there in February and the fountain was not running, probably because it was winter and the pools had been drained. It probably has quite a different impact in summer.
For the full effect of the National Mall, I would recommend allocating time to do the whole walk and visiting all of the monuments. However, if you only have time to see a few memorials, you could skip this one and instead opt for the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam and Korean War Veteran Memorials and the Martin Luther King Monument which are quite close together.
Entry is free but do it on a clear day if you can. On a wet day, there is nowhere much to shelter.

Thank Mairwen1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 3, 2018 via mobile

As someone with a personal connection to WWII, this place holds particular meaning to me and my family. It is well appointed to reflected both the theaters of the war: Atlantic and Pacific. Moreover, the loss of human life is hard to put into scale. At the far end of the monument are gold stars. Each one represents 100 Americans that died in the war. What is truly startling is the fact that there are 4,048 stars on that wall. It is humbling to say the least. Along the walls, listed in the order that they joined the union (starting from the gold star wall), are the names of every state and territory that participated in the fighting. Every major engagement is listed around the perimeter as well.

TIP:

Look BEHIND the gold star wall (on the right hand side if you are looking at it), on the side closest to the Lincoln Memorial. You will find some very meaningful graffiti that was never removed, and was, in fact, purposefully placed there by the construction crew. See the photo attached.

Thank BondVagaBond007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 3, 2018

Watch your step - I actually fell down on the grassy area while taking pictures because it had different levels. This is a well-designed memorial - mostly symbolic with only a few quotes inscribed in the stone. There were ugly temporary metal gates around the fountain in the middle. I can't imagine the artists and designers wanted black fencing material stuck haphazardly in the middle of the memorial. I assume people were going into the water?

Thank Craig D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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