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Dover Post
  • World War II memorial unveiled at Legislative Hall

  • Standing several yards away from the statue of charging Revolutionary soldiers that guards the entrance of Legislative Hall is a new memorial that was erected to pay homage to the service of those who fought in World War II.
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  • Standing several yards away from the statue of charging Revolutionary soldiers that guards the entrance of Legislative Hall is a new memorial that was erected to pay homage to the service of those who fought in World War II.
    The monument is dedicated to those who furthered the war effort both on the front lines and on the home front, said Lori Christiansen, director of the Legislative Council in the Division of Research.
    “This really is a tribute to the ‘Greatest Generation,’” Christiansen said. “Not just to the armed forces, but to the men and women who stayed home and ran the country as well. It’s for the veterans and for those who worked in the bomb factories and naval yards; it’s dedicated to all of them.”
    Funding for the memorial, which was dedicated during a ceremony on Saturday, was approved by the Delaware legislature. The monument was designed by the Commission of Veterans Affairs for the State of Delaware. The commission chose a design for the monument that honors all branches and all theaters of World War II.
    The right side of the monument is dedicated to the European, African and Middle Eastern theater of the war, while the left side of the memorial is dedicated to the Pacific theater of the war. The medal of each branch of service, as it would have appeared during WWII, is carved at the base of the monument, along with the medal for the Merchant Marines.
    A need to honor the remaining veterans from WWII made timing a factor in having the monument erected, according to Dick Carter, chair of the Delaware Heritage Commission.
    “I think everybody realizes that the number of WWII vets is thinning very quickly,” he said. “If people are going to honor them they better do so right away.”
    Of the 33,000 military members from Delaware who served in WWII, roughly 800 lost their lives during the conflict. The monument is also intended to honor all of those who furthered the war effort and held down the home front, from those who worked in bomb factories, to those who grew the crops that fed the soldiers, because they, too, had a battle to wage, Carter said
    “The war effort depended just as much upon people here at home for contributions, in terms of creating armaments and materials for people in Europe and the Pacific,” Carter said. “The fighting wasn’t just those who were on the front lines, but also those behind lines at home contributing to war effort.”
    Nearly every family in Delaware was somehow touched by the war, whether it was in sending sons and daughters off to the battleground or if it was through work in defense factories, Carter said.
    Page 2 of 2 - “The entire economy transferred to a wartime footing,” he said. “It’s unbelievable by today’s standards how large an effort it was in Delaware and everywhere else.”
    This new monument is an appropriate way to honor the “Greatest Generation,” said John Knotts, executive director of the Delaware Commission for Veterans Affairs.
    “For a long time no one thought to build a monument in the capital city,” Knotts said. “I think it’s a great gesture that this is being done to commemorate the service and sacrifice of that population that is quickly aging out.”

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