The Cathedral’s original plans did not include a chapel in this area near the south transept, but a memorial to our nation’s heroes seemed necessary and appropriate after World War II.
The chapel is centered around a powerful sculpture of the suffering Christ above the altar by British artist Steven Sykes. It features a dramatically oversized head of the crucified Redeemer crowned with a halo of brass shapes simulating cannon shells and irregular rays of cast aluminum suggesting rays of glory.
To the right of the altar, a National Roll of Honor contains the names and dates of service of thousands of men and women who have served their country.
A 9-by-12-foot needlepoint tapestry uses the biblical symbol of the Tree of Life to honor the armed services and illustrate the expansion of the United States. Emblems of the Armed Forces and the Great Seal of the United States surround the tree, which features the seals of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The chapels’ three Freedom windows honor those from biblical times to the mid-20th century who gave their lives for the cause of freedom. Created in 1952 and 1953, these windows depict several scenes from World War II, including the D-Day invasion, the Battle of Iwo Jima, the liberation of Europe and the Battle of Midway, among others.
Needlepoint kneelers highlight the ties between the United States and Great Britain; the kneelers were stitched by British women following World War II, including one by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. A small statue of St. George, the patron saint of England, stands watch over the altar.
A waist-high oak screen was given by the Twenty-eighth Marine Regiment on the 20th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima. More recently, a small cross composed of rubble from the Pentagon commemorates the 9/11 terrorist attacks, given by U.S. Army chaplains to honor those who died in the attacks and those who helped in the rescue efforts.