100 Cites/100 Memorials program update
First 50 official “WWI Centennial Memorials” to be announced
By Theo Mayer
100 Cities/100 Memorials Program Manager, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission
CHICAGO—The World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, in partnership with The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, will announce the first 50 memorials officially designated as WWI Centennial Memorials Wednesday, September 27, 2017 10:00am Eastern / 9:00am Central.
This media event will be live streamed from the Pritzker Military Museum & Library in Chicago. The announcement will also be live-streamed via the PMML's YouTube channel and Facebook account, as well as via the Centennial Commission's Facebook account. All selected memorials will be posted on the Commission web site after the media event.
Each memorial project will receive $2,000 in matching grant funds towards the restoration and maintenance of these memorials through 100 Cities/100 Memorials.
The 100 Cities/100 Memorials Program was created to help draw attention to WWI memorials across the United States and enables all of America to take part in the WWI Centennial Commemoration. Many of these World War I war memorials have deteriorated due to exposure to the elements, neglect and even vandalism and all require maintenance.
Two-hundred thousand dollars in matching funds have been allocated by the World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, with additional support from the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War, to restore these memorials back to their physical beauty and to help actively raise public awareness of those who served and of the effect this global conflict still has on today’s society. These community treasures are a tangible connection to the profound impact this war had on local towns and cities, securing an important place in military history.
“More than 4 million American families sent their sons and daughters to serve in uniform during World War I. 116,516 U.S. soldiers died in the war and another 200,000 were wounded,” said Terry Hamby, commissioner of the United States World War One Centennial Commission. “100 Cities/100 Memorials is a critically important initiative that will have an impact beyond these grants. These memorials represent an important part of remembering our past and preserving our culture.”
All 100 recipients will receive a matching grant of $2,000 for memorial restorations and be officially designated by the United States World War One Centennial Commission as a WWI Centennial Memorial. Memorials must be completed by Veterans Day, November 11, 2018, the one-hundred-year anniversary of the day that WWI fighting ceased, leading to the end of the war.
“By designating 100 WWI memorials across the nation, we believe the breadth and scope of this initiative will have a ripple effect beyond these 100 centennial memorials,” said Kenneth Clarke, president and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library and founding partner of the Centennial Commission. “By restoring these monuments and memorials —whether it is a simple project like landscaping, cleaning, or making significant repairs—as a nation, we honor the names of those who served and the history of the communities where they lived.”