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World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial in Springfield, Illinois by Jeffery S. Poss Architect
February 1st, 2014 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Jeffery S. Poss Architect
The memorial honors the 987,000 men and women from the State of Illinois who served this country during World War II. This new memorial was planned for an irregular site shaped by the formal dictates of two previously built memorials – the Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial (1988) and the Illinois Korean War Memorial (1996).
The memorial features two black granite walls reach out to the adjacent memorials to create a unified movement sequence among all three. Each wall features a chronology of events for a theater of battle – one for the Pacific Theater, the other for the European Theater. At the end of each chronology, at the apex of the composition, the walls merge and transform into a circular granite bench surrounding a 12 foot diameter white concrete globe cast by sculptor Dann Nardi.
Each event identified on the walls is marked with a stainless steel medallion on the globe. The globe represents the distant places where the war was fought and is intended to act as a catalyst for reflection and contemplation. The magnitude of the war becomes immediately comprehensible as one examines the events highlighted on the globe.
Adjacent to the globe is a second inner series of black granite walls with quotations by wartime presidents Franklyn D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, as well as generals and admirals. The walls surround a plaza paved with gray granite bricks inscribed with the biographical information of Illinois WWII Veterans. The space in the middle of the composition is for both commemoration and personalization. The bricks are arranged in a taut military grid facing the globe.
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