Memorials existed to the fallen soldiers in Vietnam and Korea, yet inexplicably the 16 million men and women who served in WW II were overlooked. Roger Durbin, a veteran of the war wondered why that was, and approached Representative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio with a proposal to build one. Kaptur introduced the World War II Memorial Act, which called for a commission for the building of a memorial, to the House of Representatives, but nothing ever came of it. She tried again two years later, and then twice more, until finally reaching across the aisle to Senator Strom Thurmond, himself a veteran of the WW II campaign in Normandy, and succeeding in getting the bill passed.
On this day, May 29, in 2004 the WW II Memorial in Washington D.C. was dedicated in a ceremony attended by 150,000 and which included speeches by the newsman Tom Brokaw and Senator Bob Dole, national chairman of the World War II Memorial Campaign.
Today the memorial is a public park situated on 7.4 acres by the National Mall, between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Arlington Cemetery, where many of the WW II veterans were laid to rest, is directly across the Potomac river to the west. An Announcement Stone on the memorial honors “Americans who took up the struggle during the Second World War and made the sacrifices to perpetuate the gift our forefathers entrusted to us: A nation conceived in liberty and justice.”