Feb 3, 2023 - News

D.C. memorial to honor women's role in World War II is approved

Eleanor Holmes Norton and Raya Kenney with a model of the V shaped memorial

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Raya Kenney with a model of the memorial. Photo courtesy Raya Kenney

A new monument honoring women who worked on the homefront during World War II is close to coming to the District.

Driving the news: The D.C. native who as a fifth grader first thought up the idea will attend President Biden’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Raya Kenney, now 21 and an art history major at Kenyon College, has spent years pitching a memorial recognizing the millions of women who stepped into jobs previously filled by men.

  • They worked in defense factories, joined the Red Cross, and served in the military.

State of play: Kenney will be a guest of D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton at Biden’s address.

  • Congress approved her idea as part of an omnibus bill last December, and Biden signed it into law.

What’s next: The project will need to be privately funded, according to its website.

  • The current design envisions 20 black granite pillars etched with the names of jobs that women filled during the war effort. The pillar would form a “V” shape to signify victory.
  • Kenney told WUSA9 that she hopes a location can be found and that the memorial can be built within seven years.
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