WASHINGTON – Thirty years ago it was just an idea, then ground broke, and now the WWII memorial in Washington, DC is celebrating its tenth anniversary.
“You have to spend your energy on what counts, this counts,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).
In the late 1980’s, Kaptur authored a bill to create the memorial, to celebrate veterans and their families.
“The World War Two generations, unselfishly, gave our future to us,” Kaptur said. “So we owe them everything!”
Over the past decade, the memorial has drawn more than one hundred thousand WWII veterans, and hundreds of thousands of young people and families from all across the country. Some veterans say the memorial keeps the memory of the fallen, alive.
“The real heroes didn’t come home, that’s the way I feel about it,” said Toledo native and Korean War veteran Orville Buehrer, “but it’s a good tribute to them; it’s very nice.”
Buehrer recently visited the memorial with his daughter. He says the experience was good for him and her.
“I think it does a lot of good for younger people to come and visit,” Buehrer said.
The memorial has changed a bit over the past ten years. Recently, these interactive kiosks were added, giving people the opportunity to learn more about the war itself. Kaptur hopes the memorial will continue to grow over the years, so even more veterans can feel this while visiting.
“A great sense of satisfaction that their lives mattered,” Kaptur said. “That they made the world a better place and that America remembers.”