The Second World War is the only 20th Century event commemorated on the National Mallís central axis.
The designer of the monument was Friedrich St. Florian.
The memorial consists of 56 pillars, each measuring 17 feet (5 m) tall, arranged in a semicircle around a central plaza with two 43-foot (13 m) arches on opposite sides.
Each pillar is inscribed with the names of the then-48 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the Alaska Territory and Territory of Hawaii, the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each arch is inscribed with "Atlantic" and "Pacific."
The plaza is 337 ft 10 in (103.0 m) long and 240 feet 2 inches (73.2 m) wide, is sunk 6 feet (1.8 m) below grade, and contains a pool that is 246 feet 9 inches by 147 feet 8 inches (75.2 ◊ 45.0 m).
The WWII Memorial opened to the public on April 29, 2004, and was dedicated on May 29.