The National D-Day Memorial, to be dedicated today in Bedford, Va., uses 360 tons of green granite quarried in the Superior National Forest, Minn., to form the memorial’s 40-foot high “Victory Arch,” and tons more of the striking granite were used to fashion a life-size landing craft and other features of the memorial.
The quarrying and preparation of the granite for use in the D-Day Memorial is a joint effort of the USDA Forest Service; and Cold Spring Granite, the company quarrying the stone.
The D-Day Memorial also will use the green granite in the two-story education building and amphitheater now being designed. Paving, benches and other parts of the memorial also already make use of the green granite.
Only granite meeting stringent criterion can be quarried for use in the memorial. The rock must be capable of yielding blocks at least 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet in size without fractures, streaks or other imperfections. The granite chosen for the memorial was fashioned from select 6-by-6-by-8-foot blocks. The blocks were trucked from the quarry to Cold Spring Granite’s polishing facilities. From there, the finished blocks were trucked to Bedford for assembly in the Victory Arch and other features.
The green granite is composed of large crystals of quartz, feldspar and large amounts of green minerals. The granite was formed over millions of years as the materials underwent high temperature and pressure and then rapid cooling. The source quarry for the granite is producing 40,000 to 60,000 cubic feet of the prized green granite per year. The Forest Service collects royalties from the quarrying operation for the U.S. Treasury. Twenty-five percent of the royalties are returned to the state of Minnesota.
For additional information on the D-Day Memorial and today’s dedication, see the Internet site: http://www.dday.org.