National World War II Memorial
Tribute to a Generation
Director of Communications, National World War II Memorial
Thursday, May 27, 2004; 3:00 PM
Betsy Glick, director of communications for the National World War II Memorial, was online Thursday, May 27 at 3 p.m. ET, to discuss the memorial and the Dedication Ceremony which takes place Saturday, May 29.
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The World War II Memorial is the first national memorial dedicated to all who served during the war and honors all military veterans, citizens on the home front and the nation at-large.
A transcript follows.
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Betsy Glick, thanks for joining us today on washingtonpost.com.
The four-day Memorial Day celebration on the Mall has begun. Can you describe the scene for us?
Betsy Glick: I am at the World War II Memorial and there are bunches of people visiting the memorial. Many of them are WW II veterans and there are also many families and school class trips. I have been told that there are a lot of people at the Smithsonian World War II Reunion site. It's open today through Sunday. One of my colleagues was just at the Reunion pavilion and he said that there is a tremendous amount of emotion there.
Where can people find out about each day's activities?
Betsy Glick: For information about the reunion, they can visit our Web site which is National World War II Memorial, click on Dedication and then within Dedication there is a link to Events. All the events are listed and link out from that page.
Will the church service at National Cathedral Sat. morning and/or the MCI concert be broadcast on TV?
Betsy Glick: The National Cathedral service will be covered by C-SPAN and also ABMC (American Battle Monuments Commission -- the event organizers) will be taking the video signal from the cathedral and showing it live at the dedication seating sections so people will be able to watch the large screens at the dedication site.
Will the Dedication Ceremony be televised?
Betsy Glick: Yes, it will be live on C-SPAN and the History Channel and we also are making arrangements for all of the major national networks to have access to the festivities so that they can show it. It is possible that many parts of the ceremony will be on the major networks but we cannot confirm that at this time.
Are events and ceremonies down on the Mall wheelchair accessible?
Betsy Glick: Yes. People in wheelchairs who have tickets should have received information about special shuttle arrangements. People who have tickets who did not receive that specific information should call 1-800-340-9737.
For those in wheelchairs who are not ticket holders, they should utilize the Metro system and exit at the Smithsonian or L'Enfant Plaza Metro stations which are within very close proximity to the non-ticketed area, that is, on the Mall between 10th and 14th Sts., NW.
Where can I find the quotations that are engraved on the memorial?
Betsy Glick: They are on our Web site (National World War II Memorial) and then click on the Archives and under Archives, click on Fact Sheets and there's on for inscription.
I noticed that Puerto Rico had its own pillar around the oval fountain. Does that mean every state and territory of the USA that contributed troops to the effort is recognized? If not, how was it decided what places would and would not receive a pillar?
Betsy Glick: The 56 pillars represent the 48 states, seven territories and the District of Columbia that comprised the U.S. during the war era.
How do you handle the critics of the World War II Memorial when they say certain things weren't done properly?
Betsy Glick: I would simply say that we appeared at dozens of public hearings. Concerns and comments were accepted and addressed at those hearings. The commissions that are responsible for approving the memorial have addressed those concerns and granted final approval. The memorial is built and the reaction from the visitors who have been coming to our site since the end of April has been overwhelmingly positive.
College Park, Md.:
What kind of delays should people heading to the opening on Saturday expect due to security? Will veterans and their families need to stand for hours at checkpoints?
Betsy Glick: I would say that to avoid delays both getting to the site and getting through the entrance ways to heed the advice that we have posted on our Web site, including information about road closures, encouraging people to use the public transportation system in combination with our specially arranged shuttle system and to leave at home any of the prohibited items that are listed on our Web site.
We are aware that many people are expected at the site which is why we are opening the seating sections at 8 a.m. so that people don't all come in the afternoon. There will be food and water and some seating available outside of the ticketed areas.
What time does the Dedication Ceremony begin on Saturday?
Betsy Glick: The formal ceremony starts at 2 p.m. however, we encourage people to arrive early since extensive pre-ceremony entertainment begins at noon. Further, ticket holders in Section I must be in their seats by 1:30 p.m. Late comers will be directed to an alternative viewing area. The last shuttle from the various Metro stations (L'Enfant Plaza, Farragut West, Metro Center, Smithsonian) will leave at 1 p.m. and it will resume following the Dedication Ceremony.
Betsy Glick: I want to reiterate that the shuttle system is for ticket holders only. Please be sure to get on the shuttle with the same seating section as your ticket indicates.
Who are the ticket holders and does everyone need one?
Betsy Glick: Members of the WW II generation comprise nearly 60 percent of the ticket holders. Tickets were made available in November to WW II generation members and then later were made available to the general public. Ticket holders will be admitted only to those sections that their tickets indicate. People without tickets can view the ceremony from the alternative area on the Mall between 10th and 14th Sts. near the Smithsonian Reunion site over by the castle.
They should not try to get into ticketed Sections I, II or II.
Metro Center, D.C.:
Will the security checkpoints be in force on Sunday and Monday, as well?
Betsy Glick: The dedication seating sections are only operational on Saturday. The Smithsonian Reunion site will operate as it has throughout the four-day period. There are security checkpoints at the Smithsonian Reunion site and you can find out more on this by going to National World War II Memorial, click on Dedication, click on Events and then click on Reunion.
Betsy Glick: We've got a great weekend planned and it looks like Mother Nature is going to cooperate. We're looking forward to having a wonderful Dedication Ceremony and encourage everyone to visit the many activity tents at the Reunion site.
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