Visiting Washington D. C.: National World War II Memorial

Washington, our nation’s capitol, is filled with historic places and museums, and I was excited to visit it the first time decades ago. I’ve returned several times over the years and there is always something to draw me back. Today I am sharing  our country’s National World War II Memorial at night. These are my nephew’s photos on his recent trip. Thanks James!






The full moon set the stage for a night visit to the Memorial.







The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home. Symbolic of the defining event of the 20th Century, the memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people.






Consisting of 56 pillars and a pair of small triumphal arches surrounding a square and fountain, it sits on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.








The World War II Memorial honors the sacrifice and displays the victory of Americans who served during World War II.





They have given their sons to the military serves. They stoked the furnaces and hurried the factory wheels. They have made the planes and welded the tanks. Riveted the ships and rolled the shells.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt












The Freedom Wall is on the west side of the memorial, with a view of the Reflecting Pool and Lincoln Memorial behind it. The wall has 4,048 gold stars, each representing 100 Americans who died in the war.








The 48 states of the union during the war and our eight possessions, including Alaska, Hawaii and the Philippines branch out from the gold stars in order of state ratification of the Constitution, and admittance as a state or acquisition as a possession.  Each column has a hollow center reflecting the individual loss of each state or territory in the war.  Two wreaths decorate each column in the form of wheat (the bounty of home front agriculture) and one of oak (U.S. strength of industry).   A heavy rope binds each of the states and territories together, so as to represent our nation coming together in this great struggle.   Two engravings, marked “Kilroy Was Here” are tucked into corners of both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the memorial.  This “signature” of the memorial confers a further “tip of the hat” to the generation that served in World War II.  This catch phrase, popular with troops overseas which clearly denoted that “the Yanks were here.”









The heroism of our troops was matched by that of the armed forces of the nations that fought by our side. They absorbed the blows and they shared to the full in the ultimate destruction of the enemy.

President Harry S. Truman








Designed by the former chief of the Rhode Island School of Design, Friedrich St. Florian, the memorial illustrates the clear relationship between the home front and the battle front, as Americans at home and those fighting abroad relied upon each other’s support in this defining moment of the 20th century. It was dedicated in 2004.











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Photography by James Murphy


I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

30 thoughts to “Visiting Washington D. C.: National World War II Memorial”

  1. I’ve always wanted to visit Washington, DC! I am hoping to get there with my boys next year. I think it would be a great history lesson for us all.

  2. This is awe inspiring in the daytime. At night could only be more so. It’s one of those places where you can be overcome with the magnitude of it all. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Carol, your post comes with perfect timing — we are visiting Washington DC in about 10 days! Your nephew took such clear photos at night. Good job! We have booked a nighttime bicycle tour of the monuments. I’m excited to see these all lit up! The WWII monument is one I haven’t seen and I’m especially looking forward to visiting it!

  4. Beautiful pictures that are so full of emotion! I visited the Colleville-sur-Mer cemetery in Normandy last summer and it was really heartrending to get the measure of so many lives that were lost and sacrificed! A great history lesson that should be remembered more often! Thank you for sharing, Carol!
    Best wishes from France, Sandrine.

  5. Wow – James is a talented photographer. I have seen these Memorials in person, but I think I was more struck by seeing the shots at night!!! We would all do well to visit these Memorials regularly, virtually or otherwise, to remember our values and those who sacrifice so much to protect them!

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