Upton urges local vets to reserve tickets
Published 11:44 pm Saturday, December 13, 2003
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, the son of a World War II veteran, Thursday urged local veterans to secure tickets for the dedication of the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C., on May 29, 2004.
Tickets have recently been made available for the dedication.
Tickets are free and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The memorial will open when construction concludes, which is expected in early April, but the formal dedication will not occur until Memorial Day weekend.
Nearly 59 years after the end of World War II, the Memorial Day weekend celebration on the National Mall will culminate an 11-year effort to honor America's World War II generation.
The memorial was authorized by Congress in 1993.
Construction began in September 2001 after several years of fundraising and public hearings.
The official celebration will span four days and will include a WWII-themed reunion exhibition on the National Mall staged in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, a memorial service at the Washington National Cathedral, and an entertainment salute to WWII veterans from military performing units. Other related activities in cultural venues throughout the city are expected.
The memorial will honor the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the United States during World War II, the more than 400,000 who died and the millions who supported the war effort from home.
Symbolic of the defining event of the 20th century, the memorial will be a monument to the spirit, sacrifice and commitment of the American people to the common defense of the nation and to the broader causes of peace and freedom from tyranny throughout the world.
The memorial will inspire future generations of Americans, deepening their appreciation of what the World War II generation accomplished in securing freedom and democracy.
Above all, the memorial will stand as an important symbol of American national unity, a timeless reminder of the moral strength and awesome power than can flow when a free people are at once united and bonded together in a common and just cause.