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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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  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: TheWanderer63
1314-1340 Pendleton St
29201 Columbia
SC
USA

The World War Memorial Building, built in 1935 in Columbia, is significant as an excellent example of early twentieth-century Classical Revival architecture. The building also has the distinction of being designed by the prominent local architectural firm, Lafaye and Lafaye. This Classical Revival memorial was built to honor the men and women who served in World War I and still maintains the architectural integrity of its original construction. The memorial was first proposed by Governor Richard Manning and approved by the General Assembly in 1919. In that same year the Assembly appropriated $100,000 towards its construction, which was later withdrawn due to the Depression economy. From 1919 to 1935 the War Memorial Commission raised building funds primarily through private subscriptions. In 1934, the state received $33,200 in a grant from the Pubic Works Administration, and in 1935, construction began without the funds originally appropriated by the state. The Memorial Building portrays a sense of strength and fortitude with its solid limestone construction and massive temple form columned facade. The carved detail of medallions, laurel, and memorial inscriptions remain in complete integrity. Listed in the National Register May 26, 1995

From its construction until 1960 the building was the home of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Then it was used by the University by the Department of International studies. From 1972-2002 the building became the home of the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Museum. It is now used by University Publications.

Above the front door it is inscribed:

Dedicated To The Men And Women Of
South Carolina Who Offered Their
Lives In the Winning Of The War

  • American Legion post
Beverly Free Library, 441 Cooper Street
08010 Beverly
NJ
USA

Beverly's memorial library is dedicated to its local citizens who served in World War I.  A plaque reads, "World War Memorial Building / Erected by the citizens of Beverly and Edgewater Park as a tribute to those patriots of this vicinity who served their country in the World War / 1917-1918." 

Photo courtesy of: Deb Hartshorn & Historical Marker Database

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Richard Bareford
3260 SW 8th St
33135 Miami
FL
USA

Between 1923 and 1930 Harvey W. Seeds American Legion Post 29 erected a World War memorial at Woodlawn Park Cemetery. It depicts a sailor, soldier, marine and an Army nurse. The sculptor was Robert Paul Goldie. He used local military personnel as models. Unfortunately the monument has been a frequent target by vandals. In 2010 Felix Sosa-Camejo American Legion Post 346 completed a major restoration, stripping off decades of paint and replacing missing limbs. These pictures were taken on September 1, 2013, still looking great.

  • Single figure -- soldier
  • Dedication Date: May 30, 1926
Monument at flag pole: "1917, 1918, Erected by the grateful people of Mason County in memory of these our heroes, who gave their lives for our country and in honor of our soldiers and sailors in the World War. John Benjamin Adam, Frank R. Allen, John Albert Anderson, Frederic Chris Bertelsen, John R. Borski, Russell Clayton Boxell, Louis Brozzo, Eric Carlson, Gordon Chadwick, Carl Christensen, Alvin R. Drabenstott, Dezerie A. Duplessis, Edwin Harold Ewing, Anton Brye, Edwin Glynn, August Gorski, Joseph Hall, John Hanson, Floyd James Herrington, R.D. Keith, Cosmer Leveaux, Walter Loxen, Frank Lukaszewicz, Joseph P. Maluski, Isadore Meyette, Marion Michael, Otto Miney, Francis Joseph Odean, Hans Christian Peterson, Michael Przybysz, Walter Rives, Albert Sheppard, Samuel Shinnock, Samuel Henry Shunk, Wilbur Nelson Sims, Louis Stump, Harold L. Sweet, William R. Vogel, Emil B. Von Sprecken, Lester Vorac, Charles Winner, August T. Ziolkowski, Joseph Zopel , Unveiled May 30, 1926"
  • Bench
  • Dedication Date: May 30, 1926
These elms were planted by
the Auxiliary of
Edwin H. Ewing Post No. 76
American Legion
in honor of the men
of Mason County who served
in the World War of 1914-1918
Putnam Memorial Bridge
06109 Putnam
CT
USA

There are several plaques on the Putnam Memorial Bridge, spanning the Quinnebaug River, honoring the Connecticut citizens who served in World War I. On each of the north and south bridge parapets were a set of three plaques, a large central one with an eagle over a scene of infantrymen moving toward a center state seal, and two smaller flanking ones depicting air and sea battles.  The two smaller plaques are missing from the north end of the bridge.

  • Dedication Date: November 1927
47331 Connersville
IN
USA
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Alec Rieder
  • 1926
27405 Greensboro
NC
USA

Opened in 1926, World War Memorial Stadium has been the home of minor league and college baseball in Greensboro up until the 2000s. NC A&T University's baseball team still uses it. The stadium was dedicated on Armistice Day, November 11, 1926.

The stadium made a cameo appearance in the 1988 film "Bull Durham." 

Stanbery Park, Mount Washington, Oxford Ave
45230 Cincinnati
OH
USA

A bronze figure of a nude boy sits on a stump, holding in his lap an open book. Water flows from a spout at the top of the stump into a basin near the bottom. It was sculpted by Arthur Ivone and was dedicated in 1938 to honor those who served in World War I.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Susie Gardner
560
98862 Winthrop
WA
USA

This monument was provided by the All American Legion Post 120; an unveiling was held on May 30, 1936. Names on the Monument are: Joseph Biart, Carl Boesel, George Fender, Thomas Pruitt (s/b Prewitt) and Rueben Hotchkiss

McLevy Hall, Broad St
06604 Bridgeport
CT
USA

The Bridgeport War Memorial, originally dedicated to World War I veterans, is a boulder carved with faces of a soldier, sailor, and marine, modeled after photographs on a magazine cover.  A small plaque is below the faces with the dedication date of October 29, 1933, and the officers of the ex-servicemen's organizations who sponsored the memorial.  A larger plaque elsewhere on the boulder has a relief of an eagle and a list of the Bridgeport citizens who died in World War II.  The original monument to the WWI veterans was sculpted by Thomas A. Sabatino.

  • Dedication Date: 1924
Butler Park, Park Place
07405 Butler
NJ
USA

This World War I monument consists of a quarry-faced stone slab with a bronze plaque mounted on the front.  The plaque is topped by the image of an eagle with its wing spread extending beyond the raised frame.  The honor roll lists the names of all Butler residents who served in the war. 

Photo courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office 

321 Oak Ridge Road (Rt. 699)
07438 West Milford
NJ
USA

The Oak Ridge monument is located in a community cemetery.  It consists of a massive structure of quarry-faced stone blocks topped by a pyramidal concrete cap, all resting on a square stone slab. 

A bronze plaque is set beneath a stone lintel on the front face, listing an honor roll of Oak Ridge area residents who served in WWI. 

Photo courtesy of: Bill Coughlin & Historical Marker Database

  • NJ000575
  • Depth: 7 ft/
  • Width: 7 ft.

A concrete monument with a full-length bas-relief female figure clad in flowing robes and wearing a laurel wreath. Her arms are outstretched, and she holds a ribbon in her hands. The monument is topped with a round ball below which are four bronze bas-relief panels depicting scenes of war. The monument stands on a multi-tiered base.  

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000575.

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

  • Testi
Ellsworth Park, 23rd & Palisade Avenue
07087 Union City
NJ
USA

This World War I monument is a two-columned structure. 

On the right is a bronze doughboy statue atop a rectangular granite pedestal engraved with a dedication to the men who served the US in the war.  It was erected by the town of West Hoboken, NJ (now part of Union City, NJ). 

The uniformed soldier is ready to throw a grenade with his right hand; in his left he holds a rifle, the butt of the gun resting on the ground. 

On the left is a taller rectangular granite pedestal topped by a granite orb.  It contains a bronze honor roll plaque with a bas-relief across the arched top.  The image is of a striding Liberty flanked by a soldier on her right & a sailor on her left.  in the bottom two corners are images of a tank & an airplane.  The plaque lists those men of West Hoboken who gave their lives in the war. 

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000574.

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

  • Other
Mount Lebanon Cemetery
Mount Lebanon
PA
USA

Adamson, Patrick M

Adamson, William J

Alderson, William Henry

Allison, Horace Ralph

Allison, William David

Amend, George Alvin

Bailey, Charles Ward

Ball, James

Ball, Jethro

Ball, William

Barrett, John W

Beadling, Wilford Arms

Beater, Orlando

Behen Jr., Edward M

Bennett, James Gordon

Bigley, Frank Michael

Bower, William Roy

Brautigam, Edwin D

Brautigam, Walter G

Brautigam, William O

Colhouer, Samuel Raymond 

  • Other
Richmond
VA
USA
  • Dedication Date: 1924
46923 Delphi
IN
USA

This tablet erected in 1924 by the Carroll County War Mothers to hold in remembrance the sons and daughters of the county who so gallantly responded to the call of our country for service in the World War 1917-1918.

Placement of this plaque and the location of it was sanctioned by Elmer Dunlap, architect of the Carroll County Courthouse in February of 1924 during a visit to Delphi, Indiana.

"The tablet will be placed on the west wall of the south entrance vestibule." - Carroll County Citizen Times, Saturday, February 9, 1924.

Ray County Courthouse, 103 N. Thornton St.
64085 Richmond
MO
USA

This is a white granite full-sized figure of a WWI soldier stand­ing at attention, dedicated on May 30, 1930, as a tribute to the WWI veterans. It was rededicated in 1950 to include the veterans of WWII.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: The Wanderer
East Main Street
29657 Liberty
SC
USA

The Veterans Service Station was built in 1935 using local stone from the nearby Liberty Rock Quarry. The cornerstone of the building indicates that it was built by "CA_JC, & JS Newton". A marble plaque on the side of the building lists the mayor, council and other public figures at the time of the building's dedication, and also gives a history of the town, which claims that the town of Liberty was "founded in 1776 by a group of patriots." While this history is etched in granite on the building, it contradicts what is generally known about the area during the colonial period, when all of the land in Greenville, Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties was still Cherokee Territory.

A granite monument was erected next to the Veterans Service Station by Dr. E.J. Bryson soon after the building's completion. The monument includes a flagpole, lists the names of the local soldiers who fought in the first World War, and is "Dedicated to Veterans World War". The marker was struck by an automobile and broken in pieces many years ago. The pieces were collected by Mrs. Julia Jean Woodson, who kept the broken monument under a magnolia tree at her home on Main Street. In 2002, a Liberty councilman, Rick Clark, recovered the broken monument pieces from Mrs. Woodson, had them repaired and returned to the Veterans Service Station site.