SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS: SENATE RESOLUTION 362-EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE SENATE ON THE DEDICATION OF THE NATIONAL WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL ON MAY 29, 2004, IN RECOGNITION OF THE DUTY, SACRIFICES, AND VALOR OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES WHO SERVED IN WORLD WAR II
Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, on Saturday, May 29th, we will dedicate a national memorial to the more than 16 million men and women who served from December 1940 to August 1945 in our Army, Army Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines, as well as the 400,000 men and women who gave their lives during World War II.
The memorial is a fitting tribute to all who served and contributed to the war effort at home and abroad. When visitors enter the memorial, they are greeted with an inscription that puts the memorial, its placement on the National Mall and its importance to our nation into perspective: "Here in the presence of Washington and Lincoln, one the 18th century father and the other the 19th century preserver of our nation, we honor those 20th century Americans who took up the struggle during the Second World War and made the sacrifices to perpetuate the gift of our forefathers entrusted to us: a nation conceived in liberty and justice."
The memorial, composed of bronze and granite, has a memorial plaza and a rainbow pool as its main features. These features symbolize the totality of the war effort, both at home and overseas. Its two arches depict the two theaters of the war-the Atlantic and the Pacific. The fifty-six pillars represent every state and territory that committed men and women to the effort. A "freedom wall" with 4,000 sculpted gold stars commemorates the more than 400,000 Americans who died while serving in the armed forces during the war.
I hope that for generations to come, this memorial, will etch into the collective memory of all Americans who visit the sense of duty, patriotism, valor and sacrifice of the millions of citizens-men and women, from all walks of life, from America's farms and cities, made up of all races, religions and ethnicities-who served and who answered their nation's call in a time of great need.
This memorial is truly a shrine to democracy. World War II was a test of our Nation's democracy, against the forces of fascism and totalitarianism, which threatened to engulf the globe. Americans combated this evil as citizens of the world's bastion of democracy. It is only fitting that around each memorial flagpole-flying the symbol of a free and democratic people-is inscribed, "Americans came to liberate, not to conquer, to restore freedom and to end tyranny."
America's spirit was captured by President Franklin Roosevelt when he said of his countrymen, "They have given their sons to the military services. They have stoked the furnaces and hurried the factory wheels. They have made the planes and welded the tanks, riveted the ships and rolled the shells." It was through the collective contribution of millions of Americans that victory was ultimately achieved.
At war's end, General Douglas McArthur said it best when accepting the surrender of the Japanese in Tokyo Bay, "Today the guns are silent. The great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won. The skies no longer rain death-the seas bear only commerce-men everywhere walk upright in the sunlight. The entire world is quietly at peace."
I hope that when Americans visit this memorial and pay tribute to the millions of veterans who served to preserve our freedom, they will realize there was a time when the mission was clear, the cause was just and righteous and Americans were united in their quest for victory. As a nation, we honor the memory of ordinary Americans who were asked by their country to perform extraordinary feats, rose to the challenge and will forever be remembered.
I urge my colleagues to support this resolution, that would resolve it to be the sense of the Senate to express the grateful thanks of the nation to the more than 16 million veterans who served in the Army, Army Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine in World War II and to the millions of Americans on the home front who contributed to the war effort during World War II and to recognize the dedication of the National World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, the District of Columbia, on May 29, 2004, as an occasion to acknowledge and pay tribute to the duty, sacrifices and valor of all members of the Armed Forces of the United States who served in World War II, a group known collectively as the "Greatest Generation."