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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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N. Main Street and E. High Avenue
27260 High Point
NC
USA

This is a life-size marble WWI soldier, holding an Enfield rifle in his right hand and a grenade in his left. He wears a hip-length jacket, spiral leggings, an ammunition belt, and a helmet. Beneath is a rectangular concrete with a tapered bottom. lt was dedicated on November 11,1923, as a tribute to the men of High Point who served in WWI.

Monument Dedication and Unveiling

Several thousand people were in attendance for the statue unveiling. The principle speaker for the day was the Commander of Ft. Bragg, General A.J. Bowley. The day’s events included a parade, a 21 gun salute and music provided by a combined choir from various churches. The monument was unveiled by Miss Frances Walsh as the Elk Band played the national anthem. High Point businessman Robert Brockett presented the statue which was accepted by Mayor John W. Hedrick. During his speech Bowley said that he was afraid that the fighting had stopped several months too soon, saying that he believed “the present conditions in Europe show that we should have continued the push for about three months longer, and it is possible that the work left incomplete must yet be done.” 

About 100 people gathered for the 2004 re-dedication. One of those in attendance was city resident Mary Lou Brinson, whose father A. Coke Cecil is one of heroes listed on the plaques at the statue’s base. “It’s a lifelong dream (to see it prominently displayed),” Brinson said. “Nobody saw it on the back (streets).”

  • Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
Towns Square
30833 Wrens
GA
USA
South, Franklin, and Bank Sts.
02093 Wrentham
MA
USA

This bronze flagpole base is decorated with sphinxes on each cor­ner and wreaths beneath inscriptions on each side. On the top is a tulip-shaped holder for the flagpole. It was created by Joseph G. Cowell and Gorham Manufacturing Company and dedicated in 1935 to honor the Wrentham citizens who served in WWI.

  • Single figure -- soldier
  • Dedication Date: 1926

WW I Memorial - Veterans Memorial Plaza

 This monument is in the Veterans Memorial Park in Saginaw, Michigan.

The plaque reads:
"This monument erected and the road of memory established as loving memorials to the brave men from Saginaw County who gave their last full measure of devotion in the World War that government of the people by the people for the people shall not perish from the earth

By Saginaw chapter Daughters of the American Revolution Patriotic Citizens and Societys of Saginaw County

AD 1926

The side plaques list the names of all who died.

 

  • Other
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Memorial Hunter: Gene Carlson
1915 Main Street
47904 Lafayette
IN
USA

This artillery piece, located on a memorial island within Columbia Park, was a gift from the people of France.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
17666 Valentine Road
98273 Mount Vernon
WA
USA

World War 1 Memorial Cenotaph Honoring: 

U.S. Army PFC. Elmer W. Kinsey,

Company L, 59th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division

Pfc. Kinsey was declared Missing In Action on August 10, 1918

His Name appears on the Tablets of the Missing in the American Battle Monuments Commission’s,

Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Seringes-et-Nesies, France

 

Location:

Pleasant Ridge Cemetery

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Edward Walz
11757 Lindenhurst
NY
USA
Dedicated by the citizens of Lindenhurst ( village in Town of Babylon, County of Suffolk, New York ) ( Long Island) It provides a list with names of Veterans
  • Single figure -- soldier
  • Dedication Date: 5/27/1991

WW1 Memorial Dearborn, Michigan

The monument is located in Veterans Park at the city of Dearborn's municipal complex. The monument was erected in 1991 as a lasting tribute to the city's war dead.

In addition to this World War I monument, the park include walls dedicated to World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
1100 Bagby Street
77002 Houston
TX
USA

This is the World War 1 Memorial Monument located in the Heritage Society Plaza, 1100 Bagby Street, adjacent to Sam Houston Park in the City of Houston, Texas.

602 Pico Boulevard
90405 Santa Monica
CA
USA

World War 1 Memorial Plaque 

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque The Sons of the American Legion Squadron 283 in Pacific Palisades, CA worked to restore The World War I Memorial Plaque originally placed at the Santa Monica Memorial Open Air Theater in 1921. Along with the WWII memorial plaque that was added in 1946, the WWI plaque was cleaned and its surface restored. Both plaques had their mountings replaced with corrosion-controlling bolts and their mounting wall surfaces stabilized. A rededication ceremony was held on July 3, 2017 when the restored plaques were gifted back to the Santa Monica Unified School District. The ceremony was attended by local veteran groups, high school students, and descendants of several of those memorialized.

Church Street & Valley Road
07920 Bernards Township - Liberty Corner
NJ
USA

This monument consists of an oblong boulder with a bronze plaque dedicated to Bernards Township residents who served in WWI & WWII.  The plaque contains a relief of an eagle with wings spread along with several military branch logos.  

Photos courtesy of: Alan Edelson & Historical Marker Database

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Nestor Tom
351 22nd ave
94121 San Francisco
CA
USA

3' x 4' Bronze Plaque dedicated to the WWI & WWII veterans of Chinese Ancestry whom made the supreme sacrifice. Located in St. Mary's Park (Square) in San Francisco Chinatown. The Plaque was a joint venture of the American Legion, Cathay Post #384 and Veterans of Foreign Wars, Chinatown Post #4618 back in the early 50s. Money was raised thru a community fundraiser then.
Memorial Day annual services are still ongoing except when the park was under renovation for two years back in 2003-4.

Location:
351 22ND AVE
San Francisco, CA, 94121

44 Main St.
01507 Charlton
MA
USA

A cast bronze plaque has an eagle with outstretched wings at the top and beneath bears the names of WWI and WWII veterans, with asterisks by the names of those who died. It is mounted on the front of a high cemented fieldstone base resembling an armchair, with an inlaid cement seal. It was dedicated on August 13,1944, to honor the veterans of WWI and those then fighting at the time it was erected.

Memorial Park, Paterson Avenue & Randolph Avenue
07073 East Rutherford
NJ
USA

This memorial is a WWI long gun placed in a carriage constructed of stacked concrete blocks with courses tapering to the top.  The carriage is placed on a granite slab, and a bronze plaque on the front of the carriage provides information about the monument.

Photo courtesy of:  Frances Knowlden

Ecole de Gendarmerie de Chaumont
52000 Chaumont
Grand Est
France

The World War I Chaumont Marker is a bronze plaque located at the entrance to Damremont Barracks in Chaumont, France. It signifies the location of the general headquarters of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) of World War I commanded by General John J. Pershing. Its inscription in French and English reads as follows:

General headquarters of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during the World War occupied the building of the Caserne Damremont from September 1, 1917 to July 11, 1919 and from here directed the activities of more than two million American soldiers.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: TheWanderer63
Living Memorial Park, 20th Street & 2nd Ave
25143 Nitro
WV
USA

WW I Doughboy Statue and War Museum

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaqueThe city of Nitro was dedicated as a Living Memorial Park in 2017 as it was originally founded for ordinance production during the war. The name itself came from the explosives manufacturing that took place there. The town was established by the U.S. government to house gunpowder and explosives manufacturing.  The statue and memorial were created to honor Nitro’s yearlong centennial celebration and the names of approximately 300 Nitro World War I veterans are engraved at the park.

  • Single figure -- soldier
  • Leavenworth county board of commissioners
  • Dedication Date: November 11, 1929
  • November 11, 1929
Leavenworth
KS
USA

The doughboy statue was first erected at victory junction in 1921 in memory of the members of the military who died in World War I. It was dedicated November 11, 1929.

In 1941 the statue was moved to its present location. Extensive deterioration of the figure was repaired, and our gratitude is owed to the Vietnam veterans chapter 75 for their help in the restoration. On July 4, 1985 it was rededicated to the memory of the military who died in all wars, especially those of World War I, World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars.

  • Laura Gardin Fraser
  • Dedication Date: 1930
Former Elk Lodge #324, 40 Livingston Avenue
08901 New Brunswick
NJ
USA

This memorial is one of two extant in New Brunswick, NJ.

The bronze elk, created by Laura Gardin Fraser, was a gift of Arthur Bishop in 1930 to memorialize the former members of New Brunswick Lodge #324 who died in World War I.The sculpture consists of a bronze depiction of a resting elk placed atop a stepped granite base.

The sculptor, Laura Gardin Fraser, studied art at the Arts Students League in New York City. Best known for her designs for medals, she also designed elk sculptures for several venues including, Chicago's Elks Memorial & the Elks Lodge in Orange, NJ.

Photo courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Robin Hitner
  • Nashville Kiwanis Club
37203 Nashville
TN
USA

This memorial is to the members of the armed forces from Davidson County, TN who lost their lives during World War I and was funded by the Nashville Kiwanis Club.

Monument restored and refurbished in 1967.

  • Dedication Date: 1946
E. Taunton Ave. & White Horse Pike (Rt. 30)
08009 Berlin
NJ
USA

The Berlin monument consists of a group of World War I monuments angled around the edge of a tree-shaded plot in the center of Berlin. The monuments themselves are placed in a mulched area planted with perennial flowering plants and a small concrete plaza is located in front of the monuments.

 The World War I monument may be a replacement for an original monument. It consists of a arched top, vertical granite slab, smooth-faced on the front, and quarry-faced on the edges which sits on a horizontal, rectangular, granite slab with quarry faced edges. The bronze plaque is divided into two sections. The framed lower section consists of an honor roll of Berlin residents who served in World War I listed in two columns. The upper section, slightly wider than the lower contains the commemoration text and is ornamented with cross cannons with an “e pluribus unum” scroll topped by a flying eagle and five furled flags, with the American flag in the center.

Photo courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office