SACRIFICE IS HONORED; Memorial a Lasting Tribute to Heroes Who Saved the World and Changed It

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 21, 2004 | Go to article overview

SACRIFICE IS HONORED; Memorial a Lasting Tribute to Heroes Who Saved the World and Changed It


Byline: Scott Galupo, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The World War II Memorial, sober and sunk low in a long frame of elms, rests between the two structures that anchor the Mall.The monument to America's first great warrior, George Washington, towers over it on one side. The statue of America's great uniter, Abraham Lincoln, looks on from the other.

In such company, the location and initial look of the new memorial to those who fought in World War II had its doubters. It would trample on ground consecrated by the civil rights movement, some said. Its design smacked of imperialist architecture, others said.

The controversy, settled in granite and bronze, came down to this: Was World War II - the lives lost, the victories gained - a hinge event of American history, on par with the founding and the Civil War? Or not?

Historians say it was: The war transformed America, and, in turn, America transformed the world.

"World War II was the seminal event of the 20th century," says Victor Davis Hanson, military historian and classicist at the University of California in Fresno and author of "Carnage and Culture," a study of the military pre-eminence of Western civilization. "Quite literally, Western civilization as we know it hung by a thread - and was saved by the efforts of Americans."

"The totality of it is what made it unique for the American experience," says Edward J. Drea, a historian of World War II who lives in Fairfax. "It affected everyone, of every class."

From December 7, 1941, to Aug. 6, 1945, America spent 400,000 lives beating back German dictator Adolf Hitler's march across Europe and Japanese Emperor Hirohito's advance in the South Pacific.

Sixteen million Americans served during the war, fully 10 percent of the population at the time. The movement of so many young men and so much materiel radically reshaped our society.

The country literally was in flux, its industrial capacity energized like never before, its agrarian roots fading further from view. The population migrated northward and, drawn by a humming new industry centered on construction of aircraft, to California.

Global war demanded a rapid acceleration in the technology of weaponry and medicine. Mr. Drea, who focuses on the South Pacific theater in books such as "MacArthur's Ultra: Codebreaking and the War Against Japan," notes that the war led to wider use of malaria suppressants such as quinine and the insecticide DDT, which helped stop typhus epidemics.

The United States devoted all its energies to the war, rationing meat, sugar and metals on the home front.

A shortage of shellac, used to manufacture phonograph records, stunted the recording of new music. Short supplies of rubber and gasoline - and trains filled with soldiers - knocked touring musicians off the road. Popular bandleader Glenn Miller sent his own musicians packing to form the Army Air Force Band and died in 1944 when a military flight disappeared over the English Channel.

Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio and movie star Jimmy Stewart joined the war effort at the height of their careers by serving in the Army and Army Air Corps, respectively, and Mr. Stewart became a decorated pilot.

Up to 40 percent of the movies Hollywood cranked out between 1941 and 1945 propagandized for the war. Hum-phrey Bogart squared off against the Nazis in 1943's "Action in the North Atlantic"; Cary Grant captained a submarine in "Destination Tokyo" the same year; and future president Ronald Reagan teamed with Errol Flynn in 1942's "Desperate Journey."

Women flocked to jobs in the men's absence. Teenagers too young to fight also took jobs, setting in motion a new youth culture that would flourish as veterans and their wives created waves of new children for the next 20 years.After vanquishing European fascism and Japanese militarism, the postwar nation assumed the leading role in defending the world against the other great poison of the 20th century, the menace of Stalin and expansionist Soviet communism. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

SACRIFICE IS HONORED; Memorial a Lasting Tribute to Heroes Who Saved the World and Changed It
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.