TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ New Jersey marked Veterans Day 2008 by dedicating the state's World War II Memorial across the street from the Statehouse in Trenton.
Hundreds of veterans of the conflict braved brisk temperatures and blustery winds to attend the 90-minute outdoor ceremony.
"Each participant in today's ceremony has a great individual biography," Gov. Jon S. Corzine said at Tuesday's dedication. "New Jersey salutes you."
Former Gov. Brendan Byrne, who flew more than 50 combat missions, and U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a member of the Army Signal Corps during the war, also attended the ceremony.
The centerpiece of the $7.6 million memorial is a 12-foot bronze sculpture of "Lady Victory," who holds a sword in her left hand and a wreath of peace in her right. A second sculpture depicts a helmeted infantryman carrying an M-1 rifle.
The memorial was designed by sculptor Thomas Jay Warren, who previously worked on the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Holmdel and the New Jersey Korean War Veterans Memorial in Atlantic City.
The curved side walls of the memorial echo the design of the national World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., with one side dedicated to the war in Europe, the other to the Pacific war. Murals on each wall depict memorable images from the war, such as the flag-raising at Iwo Jima.
More than 560,000 New Jersey men and women served in the armed forces during the war. State officials estimate there are 85,000 World War II veterans living in New Jersey.
During the ceremony, Corzine also announced appointments to a 15-member Commission on Women Veterans, which will review programs and policies relating to the needs of women who have served in the military. Areas to be addressed include housing, health care and job training.