The Memorial 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.
Memorial was dedicated on July 23, 1998 (Executive Order 01.01.1994.29).
This lasting tribute to the men and women who fought for the principles of freedom, both abroad and at home, recognizes their contributions as well as educating present and future generations about World War II and its impact as the world's greatest military effort to date.
Maryland's World War II Memorial is unique. Visitors will walk through history when visiting the four-sided open-air amphitheater surrounded by a 100-foot diameter ring of 48 pillars, that represent the 48 states at the time of the war. Etched in granite are the names of 6,454 Marylanders who lost their lives, providing a lasting tribute to their ultimate contributions. Twenty plaques describe wartime milestones and key events, in addition to contributions made by those 288,000 Maryland military men and women and those who served in industries at home. Two 14-foot diameter globes depict the location of key battles in the eastern and western hemispheres. A seven-sided obelisk, representing Maryland's status as the country's seventh state, is accented by a star which is illuminated each night.
The World War II Memorial is located at Route 450 at Naval Academy Bridge, 1920 Ritchie Highway, Annapolis, MD 21401.
Variety of shots of different parts of the Memorial.
Pacific Theater Globe, Atlantic Theater Globe & Plaques pics are in Gallery.
Introduction - With their lives before them, they left everything – their families, their loved ones, the serenity and security of their homes – to fight for a just cause. They departed on a journey to places they had never heard of to confront dangers they could not imagine – and never wavered or faltered in their duty.
Maryland Prepares for War
Maryland’s contributions to the preparation for war were significant. Among the earliest was the 1941 federalization of the National Guard’s 29th Infantry Division, which later distinguished itself in combat. Responding to a call from the Army Surgeon General, the Johns Hopkins Hospital organized the 18th and 118th General Hospitals and the University of Maryland School of Medicine organized the 42nd and 142nd General Hospitals. These were assigned to the Pacific and saved countless lives of Americans wounded in the jungle fighting of that theater. Another medical unit, the 56th General Hospital, was later formed by a group of Baltimore physicians and nurses who performed similarly valuable service in England.
Maryland itself housed twenty-nine camps, bases, and detachments performing functions vital to the war effort. Several were still active at the time that this memorial was being built including the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Andrews Air Force Base, Ft. George G. Meade, Ft. Detrick, Ft. Ritchie, the Patuxent Naval Air Station, the Army Map Service, the Naval Powder Factory, the U.S. Coast Guard Yard, the Naval World Wide Radio Station, and the U.S. Naval Academy.
In addition, the state’s industries produced a huge portion of the material necessary for the successful prosecution of the war. This included aircraft by the Glen L. Martin Co., troop and cargo vessels by the Bethlehem Fairfield and the Maryland Drydock Company shipyards, electronics by Westinghouse, Bendix and many others.
Such monumental contributions of military and civilian personnel alike reflect lasting credit upon the Free State of Maryland and her people.
The Cost of War
Like most military conflicts, World War II epitomized the basest and the most heroic traits of the human character. In terms of life and material resources, it was the costliest of all time. The total cost for arms and material alone has been estimated at $1.154 trillion, including these expenditures:
By the Allies
United States: $317.6 billion
Soviet Union: $192.0 billion
United Kingdom: $120.0 billion
By the Axis
Germany $272.9 billion
Italy: $94.0 billion
Japan: $56 billion
This was in addition to the untold billions of dollars in property damage caused by the unprecedented bombing of both sides.
More tragically, military casualties are estimated at more than 15 million dead and over 34 million wounded. More than 38 million deaths as a result of this war were attributed to non-military personnel.
In one of the darkest chapters of wartime history, an estimated 11 million men, women, and children – more than half of them Jews – perished as victims of meticulously programmed genocide. In keeping with an extermination plan implemented by Nazi Germany under Chancellor Adolf Hitler, they were put to death in the gas chambers of several concentration camps and were cremated or buried in mass. Another example of wartime depravity, was the treatment of Allied prisoners in the infamous “BATAAN DEATH MARCH”. Japanese captors forced American-Filipino troops to march sixty-five miles to prison camps under deplorable conditions, causing the death of 8600 prisoners on the march alone. With many later dying in the camps. Approximately 40% of U.S. prisoners of war captured by the Japanese lost their lives to inhumane treatment or execution.
World War II was to become the largest and most violent armed conflict in the history of mankind.
For Our Tomorrow
”When you go home,
Tell them of us and say,
‘For your tomorrow
We gave our today’.”
- Inscription, World War II cemetery
That message is the essence of this memorial. While it is dedicated to all who helped achieve victory in World War II, it offers tribute especially to those who died in battle, who were lost at sea, who died under imprisonment by the enemy, who survived but suffered atrocity at the hands of the enemy, and those who are still recorded as missing in action.
In six major wars fought by this nation since 1776, more than 500,000 American combatants have been taken prisoner. Many perished under inhumane treatment by their captors, but this toll was especially barbaric in World War II. Of the 120,000 uniformed American who became prisoners in this war, nearly 13,000 died in enemy custody.
A particularly shameful toll was exacted in the Pacific, where 40 percent of the 27,500 prisoners taken by the Japanese failed to survive. Besides the Japanese-driven Death March of Bataan, memorable atrocities inflicted by the enemy include the German massacre of more than 320 American prisoners captured in the Battle of the Bulge. Of these, 120 ere lined up in a field after their surrender and were machine-gunned to death.
To these and to all others who gave their “today”, we express gratitude for this “tomorrow” lived in liberty, and for all such tomorrows to come.
These are writings from just a few of the plaques on the columns that form this Memorial.