Washington, D.C. (July 22, 2004)–Baltimore, MD-based Maryland Sound International (MSI) recently provided audio services for the dedication of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The ceremony, held for a crowd of 150,000 people, included speeches by President George W. Bush, Senator Bob Dole, actor Tom Hanks, and news anchor Tom Brokaw. MSI provided a system based around JBL VerTec line arrays, ensuring the crowd could hear every word.
The dedication took place in front of the newly-built Memorial, located on the National Mall at the east end of the Reflecting Pool between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. Three stages facing the Washington Monument were arranged side by side for the festivities. Because of the large number of veterans at the ceremony, extra space was made to accommodate elderly and disabled individuals.
The expansive seating area for the ceremony required sound coverage for an extremely large space with minimal obstructions for the guests. Moreover, because of the large number of World War II veterans (most at least 70 years old), clear sound was of utmost importance. Bob Goldstein, MSI president, noted, “The event producers needed a sound system that was pretty much invisible,” Goldstein said. “They were aware of our proprietary pole-mount system, and thought it would be ideal for this event.”
Maryland Sound dispersed 16 poles throughout the mall. Each one 60 feet high and weighing 10,000 pounds, these were used to suspend a total of 140 VT4889 line array elements. In addition, 60 JBL 4892 array series speaker systems were deployed for area fill, while 150 Control 25AV speakers were placed underneath the seats in front of the main stage to serve the VIP seating area. Microwave towers distributed the audio signal, while Maryland Sound communicated via intercom. “The poles allowed us to hang a large number of enclosures in multiple areas, without the visual obstructions found with scaffolding towers that are typically used,” Goldstein described. “The arrays are only noticeable if you’re really focusing on them.”
“We as a company are intensely proud to be involved in this long-overdue tribute to the men and women who served in World War II,” Goldstein commented. “Because of the age of the veterans, it’s really our last chance to show our appreciation, and I’m glad we were able to do so.”