The World War II Memorial opened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on this day in history, April 29, 2004. 

The memorial's purpose to "honor the service of the 16 million members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, the support of countless millions on the home front, and the ultimate sacrifice of 405,399 Americans," says the National Park Service's website. 

In 1997, the design created by Austrian-born architect Friedrich St. Florian was selected out of more than 400 entries, said the website. 

"He remembered the challenge of protecting the view between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, as the new memorial would be placed between the two, as well as encompassing the Rainbow Pool, which rests at the west end of the Reflecting Pool," it added. 

To solve this issue, St. Florian designed the memorial so that it was a "plaza sunken into the ground, with earth berms on the side," the architect himself said, according to the site.

WWII memorial dc

The World War II Memorial, designed by Austrian architect Friedrich St. Florian, opened on this day in history, April 29, 2004. (Getty Images)

"I looked up and I said, ‘I think we have a winning design!’" 

Construction on the memorial began in Sept. 2001. 

The memorial features 24 bronze bas-relief panels at its entrance, depicting scenes associated with the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of the war. 

Artist Ray Kaskey sculpted the bas-relief panels.

D-DAY 78 YEARS LATER: HOW FDR'S POWERFUL PRAYER UNITED AMERICANS

"His work depicts both home front and battle scenes highlighting that sacrifice and determination," the site says of St. Florian's design.

Scenes and themes portrayed include battles, submarines, paratroopers, the role of women in the war effort and agriculture. 

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WWII veteran Harry Miller salutes during a ceremony to mark the 78th anniversary of D-Day at the National World War II Memorial in D.C. (Getty Images)

"To many, these panels stir memories as they tell the story of America's experience in the war," said the National Parks Service website.

The memorial also features a granite column for each state and U.S. territory that was part of the United States during World War II, as well as an "impressive pool with water shooting high in the air," that site continues.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, FEBRUARY 9, 1942, FEDS ENACT DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME IN DARKEST HOURS OF WORLD WAR II

Additionally, the memorial has two "victory pavilions," quotes from leaders during the war and a wall of 4,048 gold stars — each one representing roughly 100 American lives lost during the war.

wwii memorial dc tourism

The fountain at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., is shown here. (Getty Images)

While the memorial opened to the public in April 2004, it was not formally dedicated until Memorial Day weekend the following month, the site also notes.

The National Mall played host to a "grand reunion" of World War II veterans, said the National Parks Service, and on May 29, 2004, the World War II Memorial was officially dedicated to "The Greatest Generation." 

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There is a special activity that visitors can participate in when visiting the memorial.

The World War II Memorial is open to the public 24 hours a day.

"Be sure to look for the memorial’s two tough-to-find inscriptions of 'Kilroy was here,' another powerful American symbol from World War II," Washington.org says.

"The saying represents the presence of U.S. soldiers, and was scribbled (with an accompanying doodle) at numerous locations during the war," it adds.

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Today, the World War II Memorial is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

For those who cannot visit the memorial in person, a virtual tour is available at www.wwiimemorialfriends.org.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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