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In 1937, nurses from the Army and the Navy began to raise funds in hopes of erecting a monument in honor of all of the nurses who had served in the United States Armed Forces. On May 4, 1937, Secretary of War, Harry H. Wodding granted their request. Francis Rich designed the statue that was unveiled on November 8, 1938. On November 20, 1970, a rededication ceremony was held in order to include all Air Force nurses and all those nurses who served in the armed forces since 1938.
The Nurses' Memorial was designed by Francis Rich. It is a simple eight and a half foot marble statue of a nurse that represents the gentle qualities that nurses possess. The statue is surrounded by hundreds of plain graves where nurses who have died since the Spanish-American War are buried.
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