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Monuments & Memorials

"The centennial of World War One offers an opportunity for people in the United States
to learn about and commemorate the sacrifices of their predecessors."

from The World War One Centennial Commission Act, January 14, 2013

DCWorldWarMonumen 1World War One was a watershed in American history. The United States' decision to join the battle in 1917 "to make the world safe for democracy" proved pivotal in securing allied victory — a victory that would usher in the American Century.

In the war's aftermath, individuals, towns, cities, counties, and states all felt compelled to mark the war, as did colleges, businesses, clubs, associations, veterans groups, and houses of worship. Thousands of memorials—from simple honor rolls, to Doughboy sculptures, to grandiose architectural ensembles—were erected throughout the US in the 1920s and 1930s, blanketing the American landscape.

Each of these memorials, regardless of size or expense, has a story. But sadly, as we enter the war's centennial period, these memorials and their very purpose—to honor in perpetuity the more than four million Americans who served in the war and the more than 116,000 who were killed—have largely been forgotten. And while many memorials are carefully tended, others have fallen into disrepair through neglect, vandalism, or theft. Some have been destroyed. Watch this CBS news video on the plight of these monuments.

The extant memorials are our most salient material links in the US to the war. They afford a vital window onto the conflict, its participants, and those determined to remember them. Rediscovering the memorials and the stories they tell will contribute to their physical and cultural rehabilitation—a fitting commemoration of the war and the sacrifices it entailed.

Memorial Hunters Club

We are building a US WW1 Memorial register through a program called the Memorials Hunters Club. If you locate a memorial that is not on the map we invite you to upload your treasure to be permanently archived in the national register.  You can include your choice of your real name, nickname or team name as the explorers who added that memorial to the register. We even have room for a selfie! Check the map, and if you don't see the your memorial CLICK THE LINK TO ADD IT.

100 Cities - 100 Memorials

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1712 S. Glendale Ave
91205 GLENDALE
CA
USA
  • On Guard"

Forest Lawn Museum, 1712 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale, CA 91205: Daily dawn dusk. Free.

This statue sculpted by Theo A.R. Kitson depicts a WWI infantryman looking straight ahead. It is approximately nine feet tall.

1712 S. Glendale Ave
91205 Glendale
CA
USA

This bronze statue sculpted by Theo A.R. Kitsun depicts a World War I infantryman looking straight ahead, holding a rifle in front of himself with both hands.  It is approximately 9 feet tall.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: The Wanderer
900 Ford St
78643 Llano
TX
USA

This memorial, dedicated on November 30, 1930, features a World War I doughboy with his rifle in his left hand and his right hand raised in a closed fist. Details included with the soldier are a bedroll, canteen, and a small pack. Beneath the statue is a plaque that lists the names of 17 Llano County citizens who lost their lives during the war. 

The plaque reads as follows:

"In Grateful Memory of the Men From Llano County Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice In the World War 1917-1918.

[list of names]

“If Ye Break Faith With Us, We Will Not Sleep.”

Erected by The Shakespeare Club, Llano Tex."

Teich, Frank, 1856-1939, sculptor.
Paulding, John, 1883-1935, sculptor.
American Bronze Company, founder.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Aaron Lefkowitz & Zachary Andrews
2 Old Dominion Road
10992 Washingtonville
NY
USA

Stained Glass Window crafted by Tiffany & Co. Dedicated in 1919 with a large celebration, a parade, and a speech by NY Governor, Charles S. Whitman. Names include Malcolm L. Tuthill, one of the first men to receive a Purple Heart, whose helmet, tunic, and boots are on display at the National Purple Heart Museum.

Polk County Courthouse, Courthouse St.
28722 Columbus
NC
USA

An unknown sculptor fashioned this marble sculpture of a WWI infantryman holding the barrel of his rifle with both hands in front of himself. He wears a wide-brimmed hat, hobnail boots and wrap leg­gings, and he carries a knapsack over his shoulder. The base of field and river stones has a marble panel inscribed in honor of the seven local men who died in WWI, and all from Polk County who served in it.

  • Dedication Date: 1923
47421 Bedford
IN
USA
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Memorial Hunter: Joan Mamanakis
  • Dedication Date: 1924
4th & D Streets
99004 Cheney
WA
USA

Inscription: A.E.F. World War Veterans 1917-1919 (no local servicemen died in combat during WW1)

The four sides of the monument are inscribed with an acknowledgement and names of those who died in conflict from the Civil War through Afghanistan.

  • Charles Adrian Pillars
  • FL000018
  • Other
  • Dedication Date: December 25, 1924
1620 Riverside Avenue
32204 Jacksonville
FL
USA

Photos and description courtesy of waymarking.com and the Smithsonian Art Inventory

A sculpture in which six youthful figures appear to be emerging from a swirling globe-shaped mass. The figures are nude and are positioned on a diagonal encircling the globe. Atop the globe is a standing male nude with wings. His proper left arm is stretched out to the side. His proper right arm is stretched up above his head and he holds a branch in his proper right hand. He wears a wreath on his head and is sleek and youthful. The sculpture is in the center of a polygonal concrete basin with spiral ridges converging in the center. Two steps lead from the concrete and brick plaza to the basin.

 
 

Inscription: (On basin, on plaque:) In memoriam/Dedicated to the citizens of Florida/Who made the supreme sacrifice in the World War/1914-1918 (On another plaque:) Hereon reposes an/Indelible record of the/Twelve hundred and twenty/Names of those to whom/This memorial/Was reverently dedicated/On Christmas Day 1924 (On another plaque:) Completed and conveyed/To the city of Jacksonville, Florida/AD 1924 (On another plaque:) Erected in gratitude/By the citizens of Duval County, Florida

(According to waymarking.com, the plaque regarding dedication on Christmas Day has been replaced with one that reads: Spiritualized Life/Symbolized by the winged figure of youth/Rises triumphant from the swirl of war's chaos which engulfs humanity/and faces the future courageously)

   
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Christopher Nay
60 Knox Lane
26003 Wheeling
WV
USA

The Aviator is a monument that was commissioned by Sallie Maxwell Bennett, the mother of a young man killed during World War I on August 24th, 1918. Her son, Lt. Louis Bennett Jr., was serving in the Royal Air Force's 40th Squadron in France in the fall of 1918 when he was killed. Just before his death, he had destroyed three enemy planes and nine spy balloons from August 15th to August 24th. Before his decision to join a few hundred American pilots in England's Royal Air Force, Bennett was the captain of the West Virginia Flying Corp in Wheeling.

The statue was sculpted by Augustus Lukeman (1871-1935) and dedicated on November 11, 1925 to honor Americans. who died in World War I.  The monument was moved and rededicated on November 11, 1975. 

  • Dedication Date: 2007
47012 Brookville
IN
USA
Castile United Church of Christ, Main and Washington Sts.
14427 Castile
NY
USA

This copper figure of a WWI infantryman carrying a rifle and a grenade appears to be advancing through No Man's land. It was sculpted by E.M. Viquesney and dedicated in 1926. The statue is re­moved from its granite base at the end of each October to be cleaned and repainted, and is returned to the site at the church at the end of the following May.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: The Wanderer
Forest Lawn Cemetery
14208 Buffalo
NY
USA

This is a tower memorial honoring the American dead of World War I.  Erected in 1929 by the American Legion, the inscription reads:

To preserve the memories
and incidents
of our association
in the Great War

46947 Logansport
IN
USA
Located in Mount Hope Cemetery.
Ohio Historical Center, 1982 Velma Ave.
43211 Columbus
OH
USA

This nine foot tall sculpture was created by Bruce Wilder Saville (1893 - 1938), depicting a WWI soldier returning home from vic­tory. He holds his rifle and a German soldier's helmet. It was dedi­cated on April 6, 1926, and was part of the War Memorial Wing of the old State Museum on the Ohio State University campus. It was moved in August of 1970 to the top of the dome of the Ohio His­torical Center, and in 1991 was moved to the center's entrance.

Former Swain County Courthouse, Main and Everett Sts.
28713 Bryson City
NC
USA

This is a tall limestone WWII soldier, wearing a helmet, pants tucked into boots, and a uniform shirt and belt. Over his right shoul­der is slung a rifle. It is dedicated to the war dead from Swain County in WWI, WWII, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Their names are incised on the marble base.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Memorial Hunter: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
  • Dedication Date: July 4, 2007
15 Depot Park
59901 Kalispell
MT
USA

This memorial monument is dedicated to the fallen servicemembers of Flathead County from the Spanish-American War to the present day. It is located near the old Kalispell railroad depot, in what is now called Depot Park.

Montgomery County Courthouse Square 108 E. Main St.
27371 Troy
NC
USA

A five foot tall white marble statue of a WWI soldier is dressed in a waist-length jacket, helmet, boots and britches. His right arm is raised in the air and he holds a rifle in his left. It was dedicated in about 1926 to honor the Montgomery County men who served in the Spanish-American War and WWI.

Green County Courthouse, 320 Main St.
12414 Catskill
NY
USA

A bronze WWI soldier is running over rocks and barbed wire, with his rifle held in the air in his right hand. He wears a helmet and has a knapsack on his back. Beneath is a square granite base with a plaque dedicated to the men who served in the Tenth New York In­fantry during WWI.

  • Dedication Date: Nov. 11, 1928
47720 Evansville
IN
USA
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Aidan Coleman
47025 Lawrenceburg
IN
USA

This memorial was my Eagle Scout project dedicated to all Americans who served in the First World War. It has the names of the local veterans who served in WW1 and are buried in the cemetery. It was unveiled and dedicated at 11am on November 11th, 2018. Exactly 100 years after the armistice that ended the Great War. The 48 star flag is atop the inscription and it only has the years 1917-1918 inscribed upon it because it is an American memorial.