Thursday, April 10, 2008

Annapolis: World War II Memorial

Maryland's World War II Memorial:
Honoring the 6,454 Marylanders who gave their lives in the war

On my way home from Maryland's Eastern Shore a couple of weeks ago, I took a detour to Annapolis. This time, I approached the city from Exit 27, which I'd never done before. What I discovered were two things. First, it's easier to get into Annapolis via this exit then via Exit 24 and, second, it takes you right past Maryland's World War II Memorial. It's the latter that is the subject of today's entry.

The Stars and Stripes and the Maryland State Flag
waving majestically in the breeze above the World War II Memorial

In 1991, the Maryland State Legislature commissioned the creation of the World War II Memorial Commission. Land at the western end of MD 450/Gov. Ritchie Hwy. was designated as the site for the memorial and ground was broken in October 1997. The site for the memorial is on the banks of Severn River, which empties into the Chesapeake Bay, and includes a lovely vista of the capital city of Annapolis and the United States Naval Academy on the western banks of the river and the bay.

World War II Memorial looking west across the Severn River to Annapolis.
The dome to the left of the flag poles is the Naval Academy Chapel.

The dome in the center between the flag poles is the Maryland State House.

According to the Commission's website, the memorial was "designed by New York architect Secundino Fernandez...[and] consists of a rectangular amphitheater surrounded by columns and granite slabs inscribed with the names of 6,454 Marylanders who died in World War II. Stone panels and mosaic circles further depict Maryland's role in the War." The memorial was completed in 1998 and dedicated in July of that year.

Naval Academy Memorial Bridge
over the Severn River, Annapolis, Maryland

The bridge over the Severn that leads into Annapolis is the Naval Academy Memorial Bridge--a slick and easy way to get right into the heart of Annapolis. The above photo is the underside of the bridge. I was going for line of sight practice more than anything!

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 4/08


b.c. said...

nice series! i love the last shot especially...

mirage2g said...

Me too, the under the bridge shot, I like! But all three are awesome shots!

Maya said...

This looks like a beautiful place. Nice shots!

Dusty Lens said...

A fitting memorial to the Greatest Generation. We seem to keep learning new things about WW II. PBS had a very good series about the war.

And what a perfect line of site this is.

I've been meaning to ask you, have you heard if and when there will be another Pink Martini Their rendition of Bolero at the concert was outstanding.

D.C. Confidential said...

B.C.: Thanks! I had fun taking that last shot. I actually climbed out onto a piling to take it!

Gizelle: Thanks!

Maya: Annapolis is a really cool city. I love going there!

Rob: The Ken Burns series on WWII called The War, right? I've seen parts of it, but have missed many episodes. I need to get it on Netflix.

As for Pink Martini, I would pay big money to get a recording of them playing Bolero. I don't normally care for that piece of music, but in their hands it's art! I haven't heard that they're going to release it on CD. At the concert I attended, Thomas Lauderdale said the French government passed a law that restricts Bolero being recorded in any versions other than how it was originally written. I guess they got their knickers in a bunch over a recording that was done in the 1980s that they felt was a desecration of the music, so they passed a law. A shame really, because I think Ravel would have liked Pink Martini's version.

I was going to record it on my camera the night we saw them, but I decided against. I didn't want some dotty docent confiscating my camera...

The Artful Eye said...

Great photo from under bridge. I'm beginning to see a pattern with these war memorials. They are almost always laid out in a cylindrical, or rotunda type of design. I'm now thinking back to many I have seen across the country and outside of U.S. and all have had this type of configuration.

D.C. Confidential said...

Andrea: It's an interesting configuration, isn't it? I find it a little ironic at times as circles symbolize strength, unity, wholeness and yet the thing they are memorializing is often anything but that.

I think that's what I like about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It isn't circle and, just as it is called "the ugly gash that healed a nation" it's also symbolic of the ugliness and devastation of war.