World War II Memorial
17th Street at the Rainbow Pool
Dear General Kelley:
During its 21 November meeting, the Commission of Fine Arts was pleased to review the revised proposed inscriptions for the National World War II Memorial. The members were most appreciative of the American Battle Monuments Commission's efforts to develop the various suggested schemes for adding supplemental information to the quotation attribution lines. After considering the effect of the extended attributions on the graphical layout of the text, the members agreed that the ABMC's preferred scheme, keeping the attributions limited to the individual's name and professional title, was the best strategy. For the Walter Lord attribution, it was requested that it be modified with the addition of a comma and the title "Author" after his name to make it consistent with the others. The only other suggestions made for the rest of the quotations was to modify the spacing of letters in the title lines fur the Midway and D-Day panels to achieve a balanced composition.
The replacement of the Winston Churchill quote with that of President Truman's acknowledging the armed forces of our allies was thought to be appropriate and was approved.
For the inscription on the Announcement Stone, the members were concerned, as stated last month, that the text was too lengthy and encumbered with unnecessary descriptive qualifiers. Please give consideration to our discussion and revise the text accordingly. Again he desire is to keep the wording as concise as possible so that the meaning is clearly and easily understood.
The one inscription that has not been finalized for the memorial is the one intended for the coping in front of the Freedom Wall of Stars. Though not formally submitted for review at this meeting, the members did comment that they are looking forward to seeing several variations of the previous submission including extracts of various lengths and one with the full text of Archibald MacLeish's poem, The Young Dead Soldiers.
The Commission looks forward to further consideration of this last inscription and the bas-relief panels as.soon as they are ready. The staff is available to coordinate site visits .and to assist you and the design team should questions arise.
Harry G. Robinson III, FAIA
General Paul X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.)
Chairman, American Battle Monuments Commission
Courthouse Plaza ll, 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 Herding, ABMC