National World War II Memorial

The National World War II Memorial is one of Washington DC's newest memorials. The following are interesting facts, information and history about this monument.

  • The National World War II Memorial sits on what was formally known as the Rainbow Pool.
  • 4.4 million people visit the monument each year.
  • The effort to create a National World War II Memorial began in 1987 by World War II veteran Roger Durbin. He approached Representative Marcy Kaptur who introduced a bill however it failed to capture enough votes to pass. The bill was introduced two more times with the similar fate. However, on the fourth attempt the bill to create a memorial became law in 1994.
  • A nation wide design competition was held and 400 entries were submitted. The initial design of Friedrich St. Florian was selected in 1997, however, his design was altered over the next four years.
  • The National World War II Memorial designed has faced criticism. Some have characterized the memorial as one that resembles Nazi or fascist architecture.
  • The famous 1940's cultural graffiti doodle "Kilroy was here" is found slightly hidden in the memorial.
  • The monument contains 56 granite columns each representing the United States (48), territories, District of Columbia, and commonwealths of 1945.