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World War Two Memorial Turns 10 Years Old

photo by Dale Mussen

It was inspired by a veteran who had served under General George Patton when he asked his local Congresswoman in 1987 why Washington, DC didn’t have a World War Two memorial. There was one for Vietnam. There was one for Korea. Why not World War Two. That got the wheels turning on legislation that took more than 17 years, $16-million in federal financing and $164-million in private donations to get done. And it was on this date April 29, 2004, the National World War Two Memorial opened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

It’s located between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument and recognizes the 16 million U.S. men and women who served in the war. It’s made of granite and bronze featuring a pair of large arches symbolizing the fighting in Europe and Asia. Inside the memorial are fountains and around the perimeter are pillars representing each of the states, territories and the District of Columbia. There’s also a curved wall with 4,000 gold stars, one for every 100 Americans who were killed.

With nearly 700 World War Two veterans passing away each day, the Honor Flight Network arranges flights to Washington, DC for these men and woman to visit the memorial built in their honor. There’s more information at

The memorial is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and gets more than 4-million visitors each year.

A few years ago my wife and I were at the memorial filming a video where I spoke with a number of visitors – but the outtakes are hilarious.  Check it out

Dale Mussen bloopers video in DC


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