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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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Town Common, 7 Main St.
01452 Hubbardston
MA
USA

On a granite stele is attached a bronze plaque topped with a small relief of an eagle. To either side of the plaque arc engraved the insignia for the veterans of the Spanish-American War and WWI, who are honored by this memorial.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Courtland Jindra
LaBrea & Adams
90016 Los Angeles
CA
USA

This World War Memorial is in the mid-city (ish) area of Los Angeles at the southwest corner of Adams and La Brea on a traffic island. From the street, it is mostly hidden by a metro stop girder. Originally erected in 1936 by the now defunct Greayer Clover American Legion Post. The inscription reads:

IN MEMORY
OF THE
SONS AND DAUGHTERS
OF AMERICA
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES
IN THE CAUSE OF
THE WORLD WAR
1917-1918
AND
1941-1945

Sometime after '45 it was obviously rededicated, but no one seems to know when.

This traffic island was referred to as "Memorial Isle" in the LA Times Archives, and there would be small services there every Memorial and Armistice/Veterans Days. Surrounding patrons used to send the American Legion flowers to display The dirt (which seems to be gone...the, what I assume was, nice top soil is now just a rough grain of sandy stuff) was donated from "US Veterans cemeteries around the world", - we are unsure if these were from ABMC run cemeteries or part of the National Cemetery system.

Location:
Corner of La Brea and Adams
Los Angeles, CA, 90016

  • Dedication Date: May 30, 1920
805 Highway 59
58271 Pembina
ND
USA

The inscription on this memorial states "Erected by the people of Pembina Township to the memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice for Our Country in the great World War" on one side. The other side has the names of two soldiers and the date of 1918. While it was erected in 1918, the dedication was not held until May 30, 1920 with Governor Lynn J. Frazier delivering the address. The memorial was moved from its original location in Selkirk Park to the Pembina State Museum in 1998 due to a flood control project.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Adrienne Poon
333 Washington St
02445 Brookline
MA
USA

Dedicated on November 11th, 1958 and located right outside of Brookline's town hall, this memorial recognizes individuals from Brookline who served and who lost their lives serving in the armed forces of the United States. Specifically, the memorial lists the names of those who were killed in action during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The inscription in the center of the memorial reads: "Dedicated to the men and women of Brookline who served their country in the armed forces of the United States of America in time of war and in loving memory of those who gave their lives." On the viewer's lefthand side of the memorial are the names of those killed in action during World War II. On the viewer's righthand are the names of those killed in action during World War I (left panel), the Vietnam War (right panel, top), and the Korean War (right panel, bottom).

Borough Hall, 227 Trenton Avenue
08007 Barrington
NJ
USA

This monument, located in the rear of Barrington Borough Hall, consists of a quarry-faced stone stele with a bronze plaque Honor Roll on the front.  The upper plaque takes the form of a half-star with a central spread winged eagle pierced on an American shield flanked by swags.  The monument was erected in honor of those in Barrington who served in WWI. 

Photo courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

  • Harry Lewis Raul
  • Dedication Date: 1923
East Palisades Avenue
07631 Englewood
NJ
USA

This monument was designed by sculptor Harry Lewis Raul to commemorate the citizens of Englewood, NJ who served in World War I. The bronze sculpture depicts a soldier in uniform at parade rest, mounted on a granite base. He holds his rifle in his right hand, butt on the ground, by his right foot. He holds his helmet in his left hand at his side. An American flag flies on a pole behind him.

The figure stands atop an inscribed pedestal, a projecting lower portion of an obelisk that rises to the rear of the statue. Atop the obelisk is a common World War I symbol of an eagle perched on a sphere.

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) Inventory #NJ000077.

Photo courtesy of:  Greg Guderian

  • Dedication Date: 1919
American Legion Post #281, 2101 Chews Landing Road
08012 Gloucester
NJ
USA

This World War I monument is constructed of concrete and placed in a square garden bordered by colored concrete edge blocks. The lower portion of the monument, sheathed in stucco, consists of three stages, each square in cross-section descending in size as they rise.  The lower section, the base, is undecorated on each of its four faces.  The second and third stages contain bronze plaques honoring those from the township who fought in World War I.  The top stage is crowned by a stuccoed obelisk.  A small metal eagle sculpture rises from the top of the obelisk.

Photo courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office

Kings Highway & West Atlantic Avenue
Haddon Heights
NJ
USA

The Haddon Heights memorial consists of a vertical concrete slab finished to resemble rusticated stone to which is attached a bronze plaque listing those from the borough who served in World War I. 

The memorial is located in the western portion of the VFW post lot, at 615 E. Atlantic Avenue.

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

Johnson American Legion Post 370, 430 N. Warwick Road
08049 Magnolia
NJ
USA

This memorial consists of a rectangular quarry-faced, dark granite slab with an attached plaque listing names of Magnolia residents who served in World War I. 

The memorial is located in a brick plaza that also commemorates other wars. 

Photo courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

Veterans Park, 100 Route 50
08330 Mays Landing
NJ
USA

This monument is a shallow gable, granite slab set on a granite base.  A rectangular bronze plaque is attached to the front.  Its frame is topped by a broken pediment containing a bas-relief eagle.  The plaque contains an honor roll of Mays Landing residents who served in WWI. 

The monument is one of several in a brick plaza situated around an octagonal fountain with a sculpture of a woman rising from the raised central bowl. 

Photo courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

  • LL Manning & Son
  • Dedication Date: 1920
Route 71 (Main Street)
07756 Neptune
NJ
USA

This monument, dedicated to the people of Neptune who served in World War I, consists of a stone figure, column & base. A doughboy stands in uniform atop the column. The three-sided base is marked by inscribed bronze plaques. Three pedestals project from the corners each topped by a cannon.

The monument was purchased from LL Manning & Son, a Plainfield, NJ monument firm.  It was dedicated on Memorial Day 1920 by Rev. Edward Mount of West Grove ME Church. 

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000137.

Photo courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

602 Broadway
07648 Norwood
NJ
USA

The Norwood World War Memorial was once a tall pedestal monument topped by a granite eagle, with a bronze honor roll plaque honoring residents who fought in WWI.  It sat in a small traffic circle in front of the Eastside Train Station.  When the station closed in the 1950s or 60s, the eagle was moved to its present location, which at that time, was the Norwood municipal building.  (It is now the Fire Department.)  The pedestal & honor roll plaque have been lost. 

(See vintage postcard image in Pictures Gallery for original monument image.)

Today, the eagle sits on a small granite pedestal, low to the ground, on the lawn of the Norwood Fire Department.  Its wings are outstretched, one talon resting on top of an American flag shield.  A small, recent plaque mounted on the pedestal front is in memory of two soldiers, presumably from Norwood, one from WWI & one from WWII. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office
Vintage Postcard courtesy of:  Rutgers University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

Presbyterian Church Cemetery, 35 Church Street
07866 Rockaway
NJ
USA

This monument, located in a church cemetery, consists of an upright boulder slab set on a two-part concrete base.  An brass honor roll plaque is attached to the front.  The plaque contains an elaborate eagle in relief and the list of names of Rockaway residents who served in WWI. 

Photo courtesy of:  Bill Coughlin & Historical Marker Database

600 East Park Avenue
08360 Vineland
NJ
USA

Vineland's World War I memorial, located in Landis Park, consists of an upright slab of quarry-faced granite to which is mounted a bronze plaque containing the names of all those from Vineland who served in the war. 

Landis Park, named for Charles Landis, the founder of Vineland, was developed as the city's memorial park with a series of monuments honoring those who served in each of the country's major foreign conflicts. The WWI monument is the first one encounters when entering the main drive off Park Avenue. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office
Vintage postcard courtesy of:  Rutgers University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

  • Works Progress Adminstration (WPA)
  • Dedication Date: 1936
Veterans Park, 5504 JFK Boulevard East
07093 West New York
NJ
USA

This unusual pyramid-shaped World War I memorial sits along the Hudson River, with the Manhattan skyline as its backdrop.  It is a concrete structure, painted white, sitting on a two-stepped base. 

On the front center face are three square, bronze bas-relief panels, placed in a vertical line.  The top panel features the bust of a WWI soldier; the middle the bust of a WWI sailor; the bottom panel the bust of a WWI female nurse. 

A plaque on the side of the memorial says it was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1935-36.  On the front, horizontally beneath the above panels, are plaques listing the names of the workers. 

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000587.

Photo courtesy of:  World War I Centennial Commission website 

  • Single figure -- soldier
"In memory of our American soldiers" 
  • Dedication Date: September 30th, 1937
107 2nd Avenue NE.
58622 Belfield
ND
USA

Also known as Memorial Hall, the World War Memorial Auditorium was built through the Works Progress Administration program and dedicated on September 30, 1937. The Art Deco building has been used for community functions such as graduations, dances, and sporting events as well as for city offices, police department offices, and by the American Legion.

  • Andrew Weinberger
215 6th St.
58501 Bismarck
ND
USA

World War Memorial Building

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque The World War Memorial Building was built in 1930 to provide space for community functions, a national guard armory, gymnasium, and convention hall. It was also used by the ND State Legislature in 1931 after the original Capitol building had burned and hosted numerous inaugural balls for the ND Governors. The steel-framed building was built in the Art Deco style by Andrew Weinberger and still serves as a community gymnasium.

  • John Marshall
510 4th Ave NE
58301 Devils Lake
ND
USA

Ramsey County approved $100,000 in funds for this building in 1934 and ultimately some Public Works Adminsitration funds were also used. John Marshall of Devils Lake (originally from Scotland) designed the building to serve as a community recreation center and armory. The design pulled from the popular Art Deco and Art Moderne styles of the time and includes three relief panels depicting agricultural products over the entrance

  • Dedication Date: 1934
300 1st St NW
58554 Mandan
ND
USA

This memorial building was started in 1932 and dedicated in 1934 despite only being partially built. It was completed in 1937 with the help of Works Progress Administration funds and originally had the largest indoor swimming pool in the state in the basement. The pool was removed in the 1960s. It also had an auditorium that could seat 3000 people but now houses city government. This building is currently threatened with demolition to make way for new offices.