WASHINGTON, July 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Commission of Fine Arts (CFA)
today unanimously endorsed the rainbow pool site on the national mall for the
development of the World War II Memorial.
The CFA Chairman J. Carter Brown, in noting the importance of World War II
said, "This site is so appropriate for an event of this significance. We will
never find a subject more fitting for this site."
The commission recommended that the American Battle Monuments Commission
(ABMC) re-evaluate certain aspects of the design. In his comments Brown said,
"the paving could be improved and softened with various plantings to keep the
park-like character." The CFA also asked the ABMC to re-examine the height of
the beams and columns and endorsed the reconfigured Rainbow Pool and
The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) will review the design
concept on July 31.
During her statement of support for the memorial, Congresswoman Marcy
Kaptur (D-OH) announced that 158 members of Congress have signed a letter
circulated by herself and Congressman Henry Hyde (R-IL) fully backing the
site and design and calling for quick action on the design approval. She also
presented a letter to the commission from the U.S. Senate in support of the
monument. The letter was signed by Senators Ted Stevens, Daniel Inouye, and
others. Kaptur initiated the legislation in the House which eventually
authorized the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) to manage design,
construction and fund-raising.
In letters to Brown and Harvey Gantt, NCPC chairman, House members
expressed their "unequivocal support for the expeditious construction" of "a
long overdue tribute to a generation of men and women who saved democracy for
the modern world."
Both commissions, as well as the National Capital Memorial Commission and
the Secretary of Interior, approved the Rainbow Pool site in 1995. In his
testimony before the commission, Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander-in-Chief
James E. Nier reminded CFA commissioners that President Clinton dedicated the
site on Veterans Day 1995.
"World War II veterans joined the President in sprinkling soil from 14
overseas World War II cemeteries where 93,242 of our comrades-in-arms rest in
peace and 55,854 missing are remembered," Nier said. "This act sealed the
commitment of this nation to a World War II Memorial on this site."
Joseph J. Frank, national commander of the American Legion, reminded
commissioners of the controversy over the Enola Gay bomber display at the
Smithsonian. "I heard pain in the voices of veterans a few years ago when
they talked about the Enola Gay," Frank said. "I'm hearing that same pain, as
I travel this nation, in their voices today."
"It's appropriate that we leave for the generations that follow a clear
reminder of the contributions made during World War II by our parents and
grandparents," Frank said. "For all they've done, the World War II generation
has earned a spot smack-dab in the hearts of all Americans. Their memorial
deserves a spot smack-dab in the heart of our nation's capital," he concluded.
Twenty-seven veterans groups and the Daughters of the American Revolution
publicly expressed their support of the site and design of the memorial in
letters to the CFA and NCPC. Veterans groups supporting the memorial include
The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Ex-Prisoners of War,
American Merchant Marine Veterans, and 24 organizations that make up The
Military Coalition representing five million current and former members of the
seven uniformed services.
Friedrich St. Florian's winning design was selected through an open,
national competition in which two independent panels comprised of prominent
architects and World War II veterans unanimously and independently selected it
from among more than 400 entries. The winning design was unveiled in a White
House ceremony in January.
The World War II Memorial will be constructed on a 7.4-acre site at the
east end of the Reflecting Pool between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington
Monument on the National Mall.
The ABMC provides administration, care and maintenance for 24 U.S.
military cemeteries outside the U.S. and 27 monuments in the U.S. and
For more information about the memorial, contact: American Battle
Monuments Commission, 1-800-639-4WW2.
SOURCE American Battle Monuments Commission