The World War II Memorial honors the service of sixteen million members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, the support of countless millions on the home front, and the ultimate sacrifice of 405,399 Americans. On May 29, 2004, a four-day “grand reunion” of veterans on the National Mall culminated in the dedication of this tribute to the legacy of “The Greatest Generation.”
Twenty-four bronze bas-relief panels flank the ceremonial entrance. To many, these panels stir memories as they tell the story of America's experience in the war. Granite columns representing each U.S. state and territory at the time of World War II ring an impressive pool with water shooting high into the air. Quotes, references to theaters, campaigns, and battles, and two massive victory pavilions chronicle the efforts Americans undertook to win the war. A wall of 4,048 gold stars reminds all of the price over 400,000 Americans paid to win that victory.
Visitors can also search the World War II Registry, a computerized database honoring Americans who helped win the war, either overseas or on the home front.