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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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240th Ave
53182 Brighton
WI
USA

The Brighton War Memorial, located on 240th Avenue (Highway X), was built in 1921 in remembrance of Brighton’s fallen Civil War and World War I soldiers. The first monument included the names of 68 men from Brighton who died during the Civil War and the 37 men who died in World War I. In 2016, private funds were raised to expand the memorial to honor veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

  • Fluted rostral column topped with an eagle and inscribed with honor roll, on pedestal with bronze plaque
  • Menconi Brothers
  • Column or pillar
  • Friends and neighbors of Local Board #2; Plaque--Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Dedication Date: 1921
  • 1921
  • Other Measurements: Pedestal W: 9'6
E 137th St
10454 Bronx
NY
USA

Side 1: TO THE HONORED DEAD / WHO MADE / THE SUPREME SACRIFICE / FOR THEIR COUNTRY / THE GREAT WAR / MCMXVII - MCMXIX / ERECTED IN LOVING MEMORY / OF THEM AND THEIR PATRIOTISM / BY THEIR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS / OF LOCAL BOARD NUMBER TWO / NEW YORK CITY / 

Side 2: JOHN B. GRAHAM --- EDWARD J. SMITH / JAMES M. HAMMER --- WILLIAM I. HAMMER / SAMUEL BRILL --- FRANK GREGG / THOMAS F. CASSIDY --- EDWARD ANDERSON / JOSEPH A. O'KEEFE --- HARRY HOFFMEISTER / THOMAS MCDERMOTT --- ARTHUR W. SCHILLING / JAMES P. KING --- LEO J. LYNCH / WILLIAM ROCHE --- WILLIAM J. SHAW / PHILIP J. MAUS, JR. --- CARI ROEHLKEN / JOHN C. NEWMAN --- EDWARD C. KIMBLE /

Side 3: JAMES J. CROWLEY --- JOHN J. BOLAND / CHARLES MCALFER --- AUGUST W. ARMS / ROBERT HAMMER --- ISIDORE FISHMAN / ADOLPH J. FRITZ --- DANIEL J. KELLY / WILLIAM VONN LUMM --- WILLIAM H. JONES / CHRISTOPHER AUGUSTIN --- MICHAEL J. GILFOY / WALTER FUCHS --- WILLIAM HURST / ERNEST R. NIELSON --- HAROLD WAHLSTADT / JOHN R. GARRITY --- EDWARD EVANS / PATRICK DEVANEY / 

Side 4: WILLIAM G. STORCH --- CHARLES BRENNER / AMBROSE DOYLE --- GEORGE P. RYAN / DAVID W. GENTLE --- CHARLES WOLZ / ANTHONY SCHOENFELDER --- NICHOLAS DEFRANCESCO / LAWRENCE T. HANSEN --- JAMES J. GUGLIERI / WILLIAM MCGONIGAL --- THOMAS J. FITZPATRICK / ANDREW CEDER --- EDWARD LARSON / FRANCIS I. SHAW --- ARMANT J. BOISSY / HENRY P. JOHNSON --- FRANK B. HALPIN / JOHN. J. RECHLIN ---RAYMOND A. MURPHY / 

Wreath-shaped plaque at base: 
THE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS / HAVE PLACED THIS WREATH / ARMISTICE DAY / NOVEMBER 11, 1921. [---] "ON FAMES ETERNAL CAMPING / GROUND THEIR SILENT TENTS / ARE SPREAD. /

 

Architect: Harold M.Bowdin

  • Jerome Connor
  • Group of two figures (life size) with eagle with integral plinth, on pedestal
  • Bronx Victory Memorial Association
  • Dedication Date: November 11, 1925
  • November 11, 1925
  • Other Measurements: Pedestal H:6'6
Mosholu Pkwy
Bronx
NY
USA

Pedestal: ERECTED BY THE CITIZENS / AND PATRIOTIC FRIENDS / TO THE MEMORY OF / THOSE OF THE BRONX / WHO SERVED AND TO THOSE / WHO FOUGHT AND DIED / IN THE WORLD WAR / THAT THE LIBERTY AND / THE IDEALS OF OUR / COUNTRY MIGHT ENDURE / MCMXXV /

Integral base: EAGLE BRONZE WORKS, INC. FOR J.W. FISK IRON WORKS, NEW YORK /

 

Architect: A.S.Waldreaon

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Weir Cook Memorial Project
7800 Col. H. Weir Cook Memorial Dr
46241 Indianapolis
IN
USA

The memorial name is Bronze statue @ Indianapolis Inter. Airport

Information:
Bronze statue @ Indianapolis Inter. Airport. Donation by Weir Cook Memorial Project in memory to Col. Cook

  • Trophy (weapon)
  • Dedication Date: 1934
  • 1934
The Cannon and Veteran's Memorial Park
Pittsburgh
PA
USA

The present-day Cannon is actually the second rendition of the monument. The granite memorial itself is also a replacement. The original cannon was a surplus World War I American field artillery piece. It's official designation was 4.7 inch Gun M1906.The original howitzer, dedicated in 1934, stood for eight years, until another global conflict called it back into service. This time, the cannon was not headed for the front lines in Europe. It was, instead, heading to Jones and Laughlin Steel. The World War I artillery piece was donated by the American Legion to the J&L Mill in Hazelwood to be melted down during a scrap metal drive for World War II.It happened on October 13, 1942, when John Renner, a foreman at the J&L 16-inch roller, and George Winslow, superintendent of the mill's Hazelwood polishing plant and senior vice-commander of the Brookline Legion Post 540, held a small ceremony before the 4.7 inch cannon was again carted off to war, this time against the empire of Japan. The cannon was inscribed "To Japan via U.S. Armed Forces."After World War II, an Army surplus howitzer was obtained as a replacement for the original cannon. The current model 1917 Schneider 155mm Howitzer was installed and the park re-dedicated in 1946. The aging white marble Veteran's memorial was replaced with the present-day polished pink granite and bronze monument in 1992, after the conclusion of the first Persian Gulf War.

323 Van Brunt St.
11231 Brooklyn
NY
USA

This memorial, which honors those local heroes from Red Hook who died while serving their country in World War I, was dedicated in 1921. Augustus Lukeman (1872–1935) was the sculptor commissioned by a war memorial committee, which solicited voluntary contributions totaling $10,000 from the citizens of the Third Assembly District for the sculpture. Arthur D. Pickering was the architect who designed the granite pedestal.

The derivation of the term doughboy remains in question. It was first used by the British in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to describe soldiers and sailors. In the United States the nickname was coined during the Mexican-American War (1846–1848), and was widely popularized during World War I (1914–1918) to refer to infantrymen. After the war, in which Americans saw combat in 1917-18, numerous communities commissioned doughboy statues to honor the local war heroes. The Red Hook Doughboy was one of nine such statues erected in New York City’s parks.

The sculptor Augustus Lukeman was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1872, and studied art with the well-known American sculptors Launt Thompson and Daniel Chester French, and at the famous École des Beaux Arts in Paris, France. He had a prolific career, and was affiliated with many arts organizations, including the National Sculpture Society, National Academy of Design, and the Architectural League. In New York City, his works also include the Prospect Park World War I Memorial (1921) on which Pickering also collaborated, and the Straus Memorial (1915) on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Lukeman depicts the doughboy in an active pose, head held triumphantly upright, his hat held aloft, and a rifle slung over his shoulder. Over time the monument suffered from weathering and vandalism. The bronze honor roll tablet was stolen around 1971. In 1972, custody of the monument was transferred to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #5195, located at 321-325 Van Brunt Avenue in Brooklyn. At that time the bronze statue was cleaned, the pedestal recut, and a new honor roll fabricated.

  • Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
31643 Quitman
GA
USA
Originally a WW1 monument, now an all wars memorial.  Individual bricks are placed in the plaza, with the names of Brooks County military.  The memorial is sponsored by VFW Post 5659, Quitman, GA.
  • Dedication Date: 1937
Dawney Hill - Brookwood GU 240 JB Woking, Surrey
Brookwood
England
United Kingdom

The 4.5 acre Brookwood American Cemetery and Memorial in England lies to the west of the large civilian cemetery built by the London Necropolis Co. and contains the graves of 468 of our military dead. Close by are military cemeteries and monuments of the British Commonwealth and other allied nations. Automobiles may drive through the commonwealth or civilian cemeteries to the American cemetery.

Within the American cemetery the headstones are arranged in four plots, grouped around the flagpole. The regular rows of white marble headstones on the smooth lawn are framed by masses of shrubs and evergreen trees which form a perfect setting for the chapel, a classic white stone building on the north-end of the cemetery. The interior of the chapel is of tan-hued stone. Small, stained glass windows light the altar and flags and the carved cross. On the walls within the chapel are inscribed the names of 564 of the missing.

Brower Park, Kingston and Brooklyn Aves.
11213 Brooklyn
NY
USA

Installed in 1919, this stone stele has attached to it a commem­orative plaque. lt was donated by the Albany Heights Patriotic league as a tribute to the men from the Albany Heights District who died in service in WWI.

  • Dedication Date: 1993
47448 Nashville
IN
USA
36th Division Memorial Park
76801 Brownwood
TX
USA

Brown County World War I Memorial

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque The Brown County World War I Memorial, honoring those who served, fought, and died in World War I, was placed at Brownwood High School in 1921 with funds raised by the Brownwood HS Class of 1921.  This was a sacred memorial to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War I, the Great War, the War to End All Wars. In 2016, the memorial was restored and moved to a new site in the 36th Division Memorial Park. The restored memorial included the old World War I Memorial along with a new granite tablet with the names of the 39 Brown County veterans who died in World War I, a new plaque with the wording from the old World War I Memorial that had become difficult to read, and another new plaque telling about the original World War I Memorial.  The profound words on the original World War I Memorial were these:                                                                               

To those men from Brown County
Who rendered valiant service in the world war;
Who feared not;
Who believed in the sacred principles
Upon which this republic is founded;
Who preferred death to slavery;
Who signified a willingness to give their lives
And to perpetuate democracy;
This monument is reverently dedicated.

164 S Main St
36010 Brundidge
AL
USA
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Gary Weitzel
  • Joseph P. Pollia
  • Bronze plaque: HONOR ROLL / CHARLES F.W. ALBRECHT JR. --- CHARLES M. HOERNING --- BERNARD RIPOLL / EDWARD M. ANDERSON --- WILLIAM R. HOLLER --- ARCHIBALD E. ROBBINS / CHARLES C. BAIRD --- JOHANNES A. JENSEN --- THOMAS R. ROBERTS / MORTIMER BENJAMIN --- GEORGE ELMER JOHNSON --- PAUL E. SALLAH / LOUIS J. BERGEN --- ALBERT A. JUSTIS --- ARTHUR A. SCHNORR / GEORGE B. BURLING, JR. --- HARRY LERCH, JR. --- FRANK L. SCHWEITHELM / ROBERT J. BURTIS --- LEWIS LICHTENSTEIN --- JOSEPH SHERIDAN / EDWARD CATER --- FRED LIPPERT --- FRED H. SHIRE / FREDERICK A. CLARK --- DANIEL C. MCCAULEY --- JOHN A. SMITH / HAROLD J. COKELEY --- FRANK J. MCCONNELL --- ARTHUR J. STRUCK / GEORGE M. COLEMAN / FRANK J. MENNINGER --- STEPHEN T. SULLIVAN / CHARLES F. COOK --- JOHN S. MERTZ --- FRED. W. SUNDERMIER / ALFRED NELSON DOW --- FRANK A. MEYER --- ADAM H. SUTTMEIER / JOSEPH DUNKEL --- FINLAY W. MILLAR --- JOHN TALLARIO / MARIO FERRARA --- CUTHBERT C. MURPHY --- DOMINICK TRAPASSO / CHARLES F. GAUS --- FRED WM. NEUMEYER --- CHARLES L. TRINKARD / DAVID E. GLADD --- GEORGE R. NICHOLSON --- JOHN F. VERMAELEN / ROBERT GRAY, JR. --- BERTRAM S. NOBLE --- CHARLES VOGT / EUGENE A. GRIFFITH --- LESTER W. OGILVIE --- LAWRENCE J. WHALEN / GEORGE B. HALL --- GEORGE F. PETTIT --- GEORGE A. WEBER / JOSEPH HARTEL, JR. --- LOUIS PINE --- WILLIAM A. WILLIAMS / WILLIAM F. HAUSMANN --- ANDREW J. PROVOST, JR. --- HARRY J. WITTMAN / JEROME HEINE --- FRED. E. REIF --- CHARLES WORTH / WILLIAM A. RIEHL --- PETER A. ZEIS /
  • Dedication Date: 1925
Forest Park
11418 Queens
NY
USA

In 1923 plans were drawn up for a memorial at the Myrtle Avenue entrance to Forest Park’s main thoroughfare, signifying a new “Memorial Drive,” and 70 pine trees were planted to commemorate those from the neighboring community who died in combat during World War I. This monument, including a sculpture of a soldier, an ornamental flagstaff and bronze honor rolls, honors their valor and sacrifice. A gift of the Richmond Hill War Memorial Committee and the Gold Star Mothers Association of Richmond Hill, the monument was dedicated on November 10, 1925. 

The sculpture by Joseph Pollia (1893-1954) represents a standard infantryman known as a “doughboy.” This name is commonly attributed to the rudimentary biscuits consumed by troops, though derivation of the term doughboy remains in question. It was first used by the British in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to describe soldiers and sailors. In the United States, the nickname was coined during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), and was widely popularized during World War I (1914-1918) to refer to infantrymen. After the war, in which Americans saw combat in 1917-18, numerous communities commissioned doughboy statues to honor the local war heroes.

The Richmond Hill War Memorial is one of nine such doughboy statues erected in New York City’s parks. Pollia’s conception depicts a mournful soldier whose head is bowed in contemplation, his rifle and helmet slung over his right arm. Some observers have noted the resemblance of the subject to silent film star Francis X. Bushman, whom Pollia may have used as a model for the statue. The sculpture has also been referred to as My Buddy.

The monument was designed by William Van Alen (1882-1954), who is best known as the architect of Manhattan’s famed Chrysler Building. Italian-born sculptor Pollia was responsible for nearly two dozen public monuments, and also sculpted in 1936 the statue of General Sheridan in Christopher Park in Manhattan. Pollia sold a second cast of My Buddy to the Storm Lake Service Star Legion in Storm Lake, Iowa, and it was installed in that city’s Chautauqua Park in 1926.

The adjoining flagstaff, dedicated in 1926, includes a pedestal of granite with ornamental bronze elements including decorative waves, garlands and acanthus leaves, as well as ram’s heads. In 1987 the adjacent oval plaza was dedicated to Sergeant Joseph E. Schaefer (1918-1987), a resident of Richmond Hill who distinguished himself in World War II, and in 2001 the City restored the Richmond Hill War Memorial and flagstaff. 

At the dedication ceremony in 1925, Queens Parks Commissioner Albert C. Benninger accepted the memorial on behalf of the City, and the sculpture was unveiled by Mrs. Mathilda Burling, President of the Richmond Hill Mothers Association. The proceedings were disrupted by a rain storm, and were transferred to a nearby auditorium. The chief speaker, United States Senator Royal S. Copeland used the occasion to comment on a proposed government takeover of the coal industry, and commented, “Someone has said that the purpose of government is to protect property…I believe that the people in general hold that the purpose of government should be to protect humanity.” Several generations later, the Richmond Hill War Memorial still stands as a tangible reminder of those who fought in defense of this principle.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: The Wanderer
McPhelemy Park
81211 Buena Vista
CO
USA

This small memorial is located in Mc Phelemy Park in Buena Vista, Colorado. The memorial consists of an obelisk with the names of the fallen engraved on the base.

3816 Caroline St
77004 Houston
TX
USA

Buffalo Soldier World War I Memorial

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque The Buffalo Soldier Museum in Houston is dedicated to displaying and exploring the stories and contributions of African-American soldiers in the U.S. military.  On November 10, 2018, this World War I centennial memorial to the Texas and Houston African-American soldiers who served in the Great War was unveiled, a long overdue tribute to the men and women who served in combat and labour to defend the freedoms abroad that they did not enjoy at home.

  • Dedication Date: 1936
219 N. Prairie St.
36089 Union Springs
AL
USA
"In Memory of Bullock County World War Soldiers, Erected by American Mothers of National Defenders Chapter, Service Star Legion, 1917-18, Dedicated 1936."
Burke County Courthouse
30830 Waynesboro
GA
USA
The tablet at the county courthouse is inscribed, “This tablet is placed to perpetuate the memory of Burke County (Ga) men who, in the service of their country in the World War, lost their lives in the sinking of the S.S. OTRANTO, October 6th 1918.”  The names of seven local victims are listed.
602 North Liberty Street
30830 Waynesboro
GA
USA
Burke County Courthouse in Waynesboro, Georgia is a Carpenter Romanesque building completed in 1857. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

At the entrance of this courthouse is a plaque in memory of those from this community that lost their lives in the S.S. Otranto sinking, October 6, 1918.
101 1st St E
58737 Flaxton
ND
USA

Flaxton World War I Memorial Hall

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque The Burke County World War I Memorial Building, known in the county as Flaxton Memorial Hall, was  It was constructed to honor and commemorate the Burke County veterans of World War I.  Built in 1931 in the Art Deco style, it was designed to accommodate all aspects of the rural existence: educational, recreational, civic, cultural, and political functions, and over the years has been utilized for athletic events, political events, social events, weddings, funerals, dramatic presentations, concerts, and movies that were shown on weekends. The Flaxton WWI Memorial Hall is one of only seven remaining buildings in North Dakota constructed as living memorials to the historic sacrifices of those who served in the greatest war the world had seen up to that date and to house government offices and community events. These World War I commemorative structures share the archetypal quality of strength and resolve portrayed by the architects and builders to reflect the public sentiment of reflection on the war, but only Flaxton’s Hall remains preserved, renovated but not remodeled, and continuously in service as a city government office and meeting center in the Northwest Quadrant of the state. 

585 Milwaukee Avenue
53105 Burlington
WI
USA

This monument is dedicated to all veterans who served their country faithfully in wars and other conflicts. There is a separate plaque for Burlington residents who served during World War I.