National World War II Registry Opens in Washington, D.C.
But not just for combat heroes
World War II produced many heroes, both overseas and at home. For the first time there is a registry which recognizes those men and women who were unable to fight overseas, but who helped win the war through their efforts at home.
In addition to those who served in the military, the registry encourages those who contributed to the war effort on the home front to place their names on record. 16 million Americans served in uniform during the Second World War, but the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) encourages all members of the World War II generation to enroll in the registry, accessible on the memorial web site at www.wwiimemorial.com.
Any American who served in the armed forces or contributed to the war effort on the home front, whether in factories, shipyards, farms or neighborhoods, is eligible.
There is no charge to place a name in the registry. Individuals can be enrolled through the web site or by calling the memorial's toll-free number at 1-800-639-4992.
The registry contains more than 1.3 million records, most submitted by the public. The ABMC has been compiling names for several years, but has only scratched the surface of the database potential, which also includes lists from the National Archives and Records Administration of those killed in service during the war, and names of those buried in ABMC WWII overseas cemeteries or listed on its Tablets of the Missing.
Of 1,002 U.S. adults responding to a survey last May, 22 percent believed that only 100,000 served in uniform during the war, 34 percent thought one million served and 14 percent thought 8 million served. Just 8 percent correctly stated 16 million and 22 percent admitted they just didn't know.
The WWII Memorial will be dedicated on the National Mall on May 29, 2004. The registry will be accessible from the Memorial when it opens to the public.
The Indiana Veterans' Service Officers' Association encourages any veteran of World War II or any person who contributed to the war effort on the homefront to place their name in the registry. Veterans and other members of the public are encouraged to contact their county Veterans' Service Officer.