(The unofficial story about the below is that the intensified heat sucked all the joy out of the experience for me, all the solemnity, all the awe. . .it was just too f-ing hot and I couldn't get out of that plaza fast enough.)
Officially . . .
Over the Fourth of July weekend, Jon and I visited Washington DC. The first memorial we saw (aside from the towering Washington Monument which can be seen from practically everywhere) was the WWII Memorial. Here is a picture of Memorial Plaza. As you can see, it is made of solid white stone.
It's beautiful and moving. Memorial Plaza is divided in two parts, each representing a different theater of the war. Along the walls at eye level are bas reliefs depicting various scenes from various battles, all very sad, all honoring the great efforts of those who lived and died in what many consider to be the last great war.
The taller posts, that resemble either columns or headstones are simply decorated with one wreath, under which is printed the name of each state or country (depending on whether it was in Atlantic or Pacific section).
We arrived on Saturday, which was a hot and hazy day. At the WWII Memorial, strolling with the other tourist amidst all that sunshine and white stone was like crawling inside of an oven. You can see the water in the photograph. Picture mobs of people cooling themselves off in that water. I thought about going in myself but remembered that germs often do well in water and was worried about getting some kind of skin eating bacteria in addition to a few more freckles.