National World War II Memorial Photo Tour

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Rainbow Pool, National World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial - Pool
" World War II Memorial - Pool - 2011" ( CC BY-SA 2.0) by Tim Evanson

The Pool is one of the Memorial's principal elements. You can sit along the edge of the Pool or rest on a granite bench along the Plaza's edge.

Curved ramps lead from the Plaza and Pool up to the Atlantic and Pacific Pavilions.

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Pacific Theater Pavilion

WWII Memorial at Twilight
Kevin Voelker Photography / Getty Images

The National World War II Memorial includes two pavilions, one dedicated to the Atlantic Theater and the other to the Pacific Theater.

The Pavilions are connected by the Rainbow Pool and the Plaza that surrounds it.

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Atlantic Theater Pavilion

World War Two Memorial in Washington, DC
Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

The commemorative pavilions are 43 feet high. Each pavilion's floor includes a large, inlaid victory medal.

Many visitors stop at the Pavilions to take pictures or to look out onto the Rainbow Pool.

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Baldacchino, Pacific Theater

Baldacchino, Pacific Theater
By Northside777 (Own work) [ CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Both the Atlantic and Pacific Theater Pavilions feature baldacchinos, which include bronze American eagles holding a victory wreath.

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President Franklin D. Roosevelt Inscription

Inscription by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the bombing of Pearl Harbor
Chris Greenberg / Getty Images

Along the walls and on the corners of the National World War II Memorial you'll find quotations from important participants in World War II.

This quotation, from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, reads, "December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy... No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory."

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General Dwight D. Eisenhower D-Day Quote

General Dwight D. Eisenhower D-Day Quote
By David Bjorgen (Own work) [ GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

D-Day was one of the pivotal events of World War II. American and Allied forces invaded France at Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Before the D-Day invasion began, General Eisenhower summed up the mission of the Allies by saying, "You are about to embark upon the great crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you...I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle."

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Quote from Women's Army Corps Commanding Officer Oveta Culp Hobby

Quote from Women's Army Corps Commanding Officer Oveta Culp Hobby
Tiffany Johnson / EyeEm / Getty Images

Oveta Culp Hobby was the first commanding officer of the US Women's Army Corps. She later became the first Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.

Colonel Hobby summed up the role of women in World War II when she said, "Women who stepped up were measured as citizens of the nation, not as women...This was a people's war, and everyone was in it."

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Bas Reliefs

A bas relief from the WWII Memorial
By MBisanz (Own work) [ CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The Memorial's main entrance includes 24 bas relief panels which show scenes from World War II. 

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President Harry S Truman Inscription

Veteran poses next to President Harry S Truman inscription
U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Suzanne Day

President Harry S Truman took office in April 1945. He inherited not only the White House but command of the American forces.

President Truman had to make some extremely difficult decisions during the war's final months, including whether to use the newly-developed atomic bomb. He knew first-hand what military service entailed, and he summed up his feelings about the US military when he said, "Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. American will never forget their sacrifices."

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Washington Monument From National World War II Memorial Plaza

World War II Memorial - Atlantic side and Washington Monument
( CC BY-SA 2.0) by Tim Evanson

When the Memorial was designed, some people worried that the view from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument would be ruined.

Instead, the Memorial Plaza has become one of the best places to visit if you want to take creative photographs of the Washington Monument.

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Memorial Wreaths

Memorial Wreaths
( CC BY 2.0) by chrisoakley

The Memorial includes 56 granite pillars, each with a bronze memorial wreath.

The pillars represent US states and territories as they were during World War II. The pillars ring the Plaza to symbolize American unity during the conflict.

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Memorial Gold Stars

The Commemorative Area of the National World War II Memorial
By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The symbol for a family member serving in the Armed Forces was a flag with a blue star. Gold star flags flew for those killed in action.

The Memorial's Freedom Wall includes 4,000 gold stars. Each star represents over 1,000 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve worldwide freedom - over 400,000 Americans in all.

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Washington Monument and Ceremonial Entrance

Ceremonial entrance to the National World War II Memorial.
" ( CC BY 2.0) by Abeeeer

Visitors to the Memorial can approach from the Washington Monument, walking between American flags through the ceremonial entrance.

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