Scavenger Hunt: World War II Memorial
Walk to the World War II Memorial, west of the Washington Monument on 17th Street, NW.
The World War II Memorial opened in 2004. It commemorates the largest military experience in US history. Approximately 16 million people wore their county's uniform during the war. It’s a big memorial to a big war, but there are a few little secrets to discover.
Look around the Memorial for images shown below.
When you find them, click on the photo for more information.
During the war millions of women were employed in defense related industries—making airplanes, bombs, rifles, uniforms, everything necessary for the war. Their work was absolutely vital to winning the war. This sculpted relief memorializes “Rosie the Riveter,” the nickname given to those women who worked in these untraditional jobs.
Over 400,000 Americans died fighting in World War II. On this wall, each star represents 500 deaths. Families with members serving in the war would often hang a flag in the window, a blue star for each family member serving. A gold star represented a family member who had died in the war. The gold stars on this wall also recall “gold star mothers,” a term used to describe mothers whose sons or daughters died in the war.
Americans serving in World War II scrawled this graffiti everywhere they went. Its origins are unclear, but those who served remember seeing it in the most obvious and the most unlikely places: on water towers, on walls, inside buildings, on trains and planes and trucks. It was a symbol of the youth and humor of ordinary soldiers, their irreverence and their pride in what they were doing.