World War II Memorial
17th Street at the Rainbow Pool
Dear General Kelley:
The Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the proposed inscriptions for the National World War II Memorial during its 17 October meeting and the members were pleased with the thoughtful selection of quotes and text for the memorial-all were felt to be appropriate. Likewise, the proposed locations for the inscriptions in the memorial were found to be well placed with a sequence that will enhance the visitor's experience and understanding. There were, however, several minor modifications that the members recommended be given additional study.
Several of these suggestions were directed at increasing the visitor's understanding of each quote by augmenting the attribution line with the speaker's full title and the date of the quote. In addition, the location or place where the quote was spoken or written could be added to the attribution line, if it helps place the words in their historical context. How this additional information is incorporated into the inscription's layout should be carefully studied so that parallel structure and a balanced graphic uniformity is maintained among all the inscriptions.
The other suggestions were specific to each location. Conforming to the numbering of the locations in the project booklet, the recommendations are as follows:
Location #1: On the inscribed base of the flagpoles, the period should be deleted and perhaps the comma too.
Location #8: The scale and dimensions of the announcement stone were felt to be correctly proportioned for the entrance to the memorial and were approved. For the inscription, it was recommended that the first line of text be adjusted to include Lincoln, so that it would read: "HERE IN THE PRESENCE OF WASHINGTON AND LINCOLN, ..." and that twentieth century be deleted from the inscription so that the middle of the text reads" ...WE HONOR THOSE AMERICANS WHO TOOK UP...."
Location #4: It was recommended that the quote be returned to its original sequence so that it reads: "...DECEMBER 7, 1941 - A DATE THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY ..." and that the attribution line includes the date and place.
Location #6: Adding Labor Day, 1942 to the attribution line would help place the quote in the context of time.
Location #9: The title line should read "THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY JUNE 4-7, 1942" and the date should be included in the attribution line.
Location #10: The attribution line should include the date and place of the quote.
Location #13: The attribution line should include General Marshall's full title at the time, and the date and place of the quote.
Location #14: It was suggested an extra space be inserted between "D-Day" and "June." The attribution line should include General Eisenhower's full title at the time, as well as the date and place.
Location #18: The attribution line should include the date and place of the quote.
Location #19: It was recommended that Churchill's quote be placed above the prologue statement and that the statement's lettering be differentiated from the quote. The Commissioners request that these options be presented for further review--Churchill quote on top, different font; Churchill's quote on bottom, different font; and, Churchill's quote on top, same lettering.
Location #21: The members requested to see extracts of various lengths on the pool coping in the next submission. The source, Archibald MacLeish's poem, The Young Dead Soldiers, should be cited in an attribution line.
The inscriptions in locations #11, #12, #15 and #16 around the fountains, and in locations #22 and #23 in the floor of the archways were approved as presented.
The Commission looks forward to further consideration of the revisions to the inscriptions as soon as they are ready. The staff is available to assist you and the design team should questions arise.
/s/Harry G. Robinson, III, FAIA
General Paul X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.)
Chairman, American Battle Monuments Commission
Courthouse Plaza IT, Suite 501 2300 Clarendon Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201
cc: Terry Carlstrom, National Park Service
John Parsons, National Park Service
Michael G. Conley, ABMC
William B. Owenby, ABMC
General John Herrling, ABMC