The focus piece of the war memorials currently on display at the Livingston County Airport reminds visitors of the cost of freedom and the importance of unity.
The Traveling World War II Memorial is a 50% replica of the memorial in Washington D.C., save for the original’s reflection pond. The scaled-down version was built by the nonprofit organization, Freedom’s Never Free, with the help of members, veterans and their families. The center of the memorial is the Wall of Stars, which features 4,048 stars, each of which represents 100 American soldiers that didn’t come home.
The U-shape of the display is formed by 56 pillars, which each represent the states, districts and territories in existence at that time in the order of how they came into the Union, and are joined by a rope representing unity. Each pillar is adorned with a wheat or an oak wreath that respectively represent agricultural and industry blessings. Among the pillars are the Pacific and Atlantic pavilions. The pavilions recognize The Pacific Theater, where a series of battles took place during WWII, and The Battle of the Atlantic, which was the longest battle of WWII.
Beneath the Wall of Stars is a sign positioned in the center. Jeannie Ignash, President of Freedom’s Never Free, tells WHMI the organization’s sign is slightly different than the Washington D.C. memorial’s, noting that the change was intentional. Ignash says, “The black sign in front of the wall in D.C. it says, ‘Here We Mark The Price Of Freedom’. We changed it to, ‘Here Marks The Price Of Freedom’ because we don’t believe anybody can say we marked it because we didn’t. Everyone represented on the wall by the stars, those who died and those who are still with us, they’re the ones who marked the price of freedom.”
When the display is set up to spec, it’s about two-thirds the size of a football field. The memorial is on display at the airport 24 hours a day now through Sunday. (DK)