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“Beautiful Memorial For The Vets”

National World War II Memorial
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$50.00*
and up
Washington DC Evening Tour
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Montclair, NJ
1 review
“Beautiful Memorial For The Vets”
Reviewed October 9, 2010

This memorial is one of the best memorials to the US veterans. It's a great place to hang out and is very powerful to many.

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Annapolis, Maryland
Level Contributor
26 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Awesome”
Reviewed June 21, 2010

It was much larger than I expected, and -- awesome. I took my 87 year old father, a WWII veteran, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. The water was was perfect to represent the two theaters that made up WWII. We got pictures on him in front of the Philippines and the states that he went to while in the service. Great addition to the national mall.

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Thank sailbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mid-Atlantic
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Mundane Monument”
Reviewed May 14, 2010

I made a special trip to DC just to see the National WW II Memorial. I can hardly express my deep disappointment. It offered nothing to muse about, to reflect on, to store in my memory bank forever. It was repitious and mundane to the max.

Every state has essentially the same representation - nothing unique, nothing set apart. It's as if the monument designer(s) ran out of ideas after their first one, so they just replicated it over and over. What (in heck) does it all signify?

I am a military historian and interview WW II veterans for a state museum. I'm glad that I didn't (as I had considered) bring any vets with me on this trip. It would have broken my heart.

See the Vietnam and Korean War memorials - the images will stay in your mind forever.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
84 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 208 helpful votes
“Odd”
Reviewed April 19, 2010

This may be the most confused memorial in DC. There is the obligatory water element that seems to serve no purpose, the names of every state and territory carved on pillars that seem to be there so tourists can take pictures next to the name of their home, and names of the major battles so vets can have their pictures taken next to those. The iconography of eagles, soaring pillars and laurel wreaths is oddly fascistic, as if the enduring legcy of World War II was that, having defeated Hitler and Mussolini, we get to steal their favorite symbols. There is no curatorship at all, so at least you aren't beaten over the head with why the design committee chose to put hundreds of stars on a wall, but it still leaves it all feeling confused. It's as if they took one star from column A of the standard memorial guidebook, a fountain from column B, some bas reliefs from column C and declared their work finished.
If they were going to fill in a beautiful space of real meaning on the Mall, they could have come up with hundreds of better uses for it. And if they really needed a memorial to WWII vets, most of whom were far too modest to ever ask for it, they should have come up with something more inspirational than this.
If you're a WWII vet, go ahead and see it. If you're not, go to the moving Korean memorial instead and see how these things should be done.

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4 Thank Thad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellsworth, Maine
Level Contributor
28 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Stirring, perfect”
Reviewed January 13, 2010

I saw this Memorial on the DC by Foot tour which told us a lot of historic information, which was great. It lines up perfectly between the Washington Monument & the Lincoln Memorial, but does not impede the view to the Lincoln Memorial in any way except when one is down looking at the gold stars, so that one can focus in on the stars - it was built specifically like this for that reason. The gold stars are of course for those who died, meaning "gold star families" and every star represents so many people. Each pillar stands for a state and each state is in order of how it joined the Union and also includes the six territories we had during WWII that joined in the war effort (we only have five now). It is remarkably moving. The water in front of the stars is amazing, but we visited in the winter and didn't get to see the full effect. This was actually the last war Memorial to be built for some reason, but they finished it in a hurry as the "greatest generation" is unfortunately getting smaller. It is not to be missed!

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