In Washington: The World War II Memorial

John Turner
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A little over a year ago, I visited the new World War II Memorial in Washington for the first time. It left me with mixed feelings. On the plus side, it provides a pleasant plaza between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial for people to sit, and chat, and dabble their feet in the water. But I couldn't feel that it was evocative of the spirit of the Second World War. And, architecturally, it falls below the standard set by the memorials it divides and by the Jefferson Memorial across the tidal basin and the Vietnam Memorial down the reflecting pool and off to the right. It lacks the emotional power of any of these.

I suppose, after a while, it will settle into the landscape and then people will think it has been there forever. But it will never approach in aesthetic magnitude the events it is supposed to commemorate.