national park service

The Reading of the Names

It's 34 degrees in Washington, DC tonight, with a "feels like" temperature of 26. Still, there is a line of volunteers waiting to read some the 58,318 names engraved on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall. Each and every name will be read aloud over a four day period, coinciding with Veterans Day weekend. This year also marks the 35th anniversary of the Wall.

Raymond Kaskey's American Storyboard

One of the most compelling elements of the National World War II Memorial is a series of bas-relief panels lining the north and south sides of the Memorial near 17th Street NW. DC-based sculptor Raymond Kaskey created the panels (and all other bronze sculptural elements in the memorial).

The 24 panels illustrate how World War II permeated every aspect of American life from the battlefields to living rooms, farms, and factories. They run in chronological order from east to west and are divided into the themes of Pacific front and Atlantic front, including scenes from life in the United States during the war.

Mr. Kaskey was inspired by the 1,200 foot wrap-around bas-relief frieze on the National Building Museum and used World War II era photographs housed at the National Archives to inform artwork on the panels . Here are a few close ups of these amazing depictions: