Monday, when I arrived back in D.C. after a weekend away, I headed from the airport directly to the bureau with one stop: the new World War II Memorial (search).
This memorial was recently built on the "Mall" -- the space between the U.S. Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial -- and open to the public only a few weeks. While open for the public, it has not yet been dedicated. The dedication will be done this Saturday, May 29, 2004 by President Bush and is expected to be very exciting and very emotional.
For those of you who wonder how the memorial came to be, President Clinton signed Public Law 103-32 on May 25, 1993, which authorized the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) to establish a World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. It has taken this long for everyone to agree where to put it, what the design should be and to construct it.
This memorial is the first national memorial dedicated to all who served during World War II. In short, the memorial was LONG overdue. It is sort of hard to understand what took us so long to do this. Incidentally, there is, as most of you know, a memorial for those who lost their lives in Vietnam and which also honors those who served.
I figured that I should try and give you an advance peek at the memorial before this Saturday's dedication. So, I took my handycam, walked around and shot the memorial.
And yes, this is one of my first times doing this, so don't expect great camerawork. I am just learning and from the looks of it, I may have a long learning period ahead of me. But, the video does give you a general idea of what the monument looks like. It is nestled between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.
Monday was a very hot day in Washington, but you can see from the video how many people have already begun to collect at this memorial. Everyone wants to see it. I suppose each of us has a story. I have an older friend, who like so many others, lied about his age in the early 1940s, joined the army, went to Europe and, after four years, returned home with two Silver Stars and a Bronze Star! When I told General Myers about him, Myers was so impressed that he gave me something to send him.
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