A large granite octagon, designed by architect Susan Narduli of Los Angeles with landscaping by San Francisco's own Andrea Cochran, has landed in the small patch of greenery between the beaux arts buildings of the War Memorial Complex. The new $2.5 million memorial, called "Passage of Remembrance," is the final outcome of a project that's been in the works for 82 years. Though construction lasted only a matter of months, today's dedication ceremony marks the end of a decades-long effort to bring a memorial to the plaza. Plans for a monument to the nation's soldiers were actually part of architect Arthur Brown's design for the War Memorial Court back in the 1920s, but a lack of funds, followed by years of bickering over what the memorial would look like, prevented anything from ever getting built.
Thanks to the efforts of retired Marine Corps major general J. Michael Myatt and a long list of private donors, the project was finally able to move from vision to reality. To celebrate the completion of the long-awaited memorial, a ceremony featuring a "military band, a Blue Angels flyover and possibly a visit from President Obama" should be starting right about now. Whether the president shows up or not, it's still comforting to know that the War Memorial Complex finally has, you know, a memorial.