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World War II Memorial

WWII MemorialThis memorial, which was completed in 2007, is an open room within the Capitol Mall located just north of the Veterans Services Building.

The designers of the memorial wanted to bring the voices of Minnesota Veterans to the heart of the State Capitol by expressing their journey through the Second World War. A visitor to the memorial cannot help but experience World War II’s history, tragedies and social repercussions. As you move forward into the memorial, you will notice a granite decline leading to the lowest point of the gently sloping plane across from this slope and rising toward the Capitol, across a distance of more than 150 feet, is a gently rising incline. Representing the passage of our nation through the Second World War, this rectangular plane is paved with dark granite at its lowest portion, and rises to a bright green lawn at its highest point.

The form is symbolic of a hill rising from the depths of military struggle to eventual victory. The two halves of the plane, one below ground and one above, also suggest the movement of mighty forces, as if one piece of earth had been lifted whole, set down in a new position, and changed just as profoundly as our world was changed by the passage of WWII.

The quiet contemplative space of the descending slope reminds us of the depths of war and the human struggle during the war, and is balanced by the sunlit, rising slope beyond. At the center of the rectangular space and at the heart of the memorial is a map of Minnesota. The map is surrounded by bronze stars honoring our state’s heroes.

Surrounding the rectangular slope is a series of ten vertical panels or windows anchored in granite foundations. Reflecting from these etched panes of glass are symbolic images and narratives revealing the Minnesota Veterans journey through the war.

Symbolic arms of trees embrace the memorial as though protecting and honoring our Veterans lives. The new rose garden forms another layer embracing the memorial and is symbolic of love and peace.