Saturday, May 28, 2016

War Memorials...More than Giant Tombstones: World War II

 Between The Washington Monument and The Lincoln Memorial there is a large fountain surrounded by 17 foot pillars--one for each state and territory--and two 43 foot arches--one for the Pacific and one for the Atlantic theaters of World War II action.  It honors the 16 million who served  and those who supported the war effort.. There is also a field of 4,000 gold stars honoring the more than 400,000 who died. It is grand and lofty and could be only that, but a series of bronze sculpture panels embedded in the walls gives it a softer appeal--depicting ordinary Americans, both here and abroad, as they gave of their lives, and sometimes gave their lives. Each one shows a recognizable job--like pilot or gunner--or an event--like the Normandy landing. They are windows into the war.

I captured a few of them with my phone camera. The last ones are darker, because they were on the other side of the memorial and were getting less sun in the evening.

 Turtle wanted me to take his picture near the Arkansas column. That's his home state, and he wanted to recognize that they served in this momentous conflict. Thus, in some small way we honored his father, a wartime airplane mechanic who spent his service in the islands and the rest of his life touched by the difficult things he saw and endured there. It was fitting that WWII Veterans get a memorial, and a little sad that so few are now alive to see it.

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