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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: thewanderer
05903 Canaan
VT
USA

This WWI Memorial is located along the road in a small park in Canaan, Vermont. It honors the soldiers from Canaan who served during World War I.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: thewanderer
  • Sir Reginald Bloomfield
  • Dedication Date: 1927
22211 Arlington
VA
USA

Original Text:

Erected by the Government of Canada in honour of the citizens of the United States who served in the Canadian Army and gave their lives in the Great War, 1914-1918.

"Few countries enjoy the bonds of goodwill and friendship that the United States and Canada share. Our common border remains the longest unguarded frontier on earth, and our nations have shared triumphs and tragedies throughout history. It was in this spirit of friendship that in 1925 Canadian Prime Minister MacKenzie King first proposed a memorial to the large number of United States citizens who enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces, and lost their lives during World War I. Because the Canadians entered the war long before the United States, many Americans enlisted in Canada to join the fighting in Europe.

"On June 12, 1925, President Calvin Coolidge approved the request, and on Armistice Day 1927 the monument near the Memorial Amphitheater was dedicated. Designed by Canadian architect Sir Reginald Bloomfield, the monument consists of a bronze sword adorning a 24-foot gray granite cross.


"The inscription on the cross reaffirms the sentiment expressed by Prime Minister King regarding Americans who served in the Canadian Armed Forces. Following World War II and the Korean War, similar inscriptions on other faces of the monument were dedicated to the Americans who served in those conflicts."

  • Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
W Broad Street and N Kennedy Street
30439 Metter
GA
USA
The memorial consists of three standing stone tablets inscribed “Dedicated to those brave men of Candler County who paid the supreme sacrifice in defense of their country.”  It is possibly the only marker in Georgia to recognize the Nicaraguan Conflict of 1927.  The site also contains a separate Candler County Veterans Memorial inscribed “Dedicated to all the residents of the county who served in the armed forces of our country during World War I, World War II and the Korean War and in memory of those who died in service.”
900 Hiawatha Drive, East Wabasha MN 55981
55981 Wabasha
MN
USA
80500 Cantigny
Hauts-de-France
France

The World War I Cantigny American Monument is located in the middle of the village of Cantigny (Somme), near the church. This battlefield monument commemorates the first large offensive operation by an American division during World War I and stands in the center of a village which was captured during that attack. The village was completely destroyed by artillery fire. The location of Cantigny on high ground was an essential location for German forces. Its seizure by the Americans would weaken the effects of the German offensives in that sector.

The 28th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Division, reinforced by companies of the 18th Infantry Regiment, led the attack. Its assault began at 6:45 a.m. on May 28, 1918. Support included American and French artillery, mortars, machine gun, flame throwers, and tanks. Although they encountered heavy German resistance, the 1st Division units prevailed, seizing all objectives by noon. German counterattacks and heavy artillery bombardments continued for three days. The 1st Division units held firm to the ground they had gained. On June 2, the 1st Division assumed control of more of the sector, releasing French units to fight elsewhere.

The monument consists of a white stone shaft on a platform surrounded by an attractive park, developed and maintained by ABMC. The quiet surroundings now give no hint of the bitter hand-to-hand fighting which took place nearby many years ago. 

  • Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
Brown Park
30114 Canton
AL
USA
The large arch monument is in the center of Brown Park.
Smokey Bear National Monument
88316 Capitan
NM
USA

A concrete obelisk, painted white, was erected here in about 1945. It originally had a bronze plaque listing the names of Lincoln County residents who were killed or lost in WWI and WWII. The plaque was stolen and replaced by another in about 1990 which hon­ors veterans of all wars.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: thewanderer
  • Dedication Date: 1938
84501 Price
UT
USA

World War I memorial in Washington Park on the north side of Price, Utah.

Text of memorial:

In Memory Of
Carbon County Boys
Who Gave Their Services
And Lives In The
World War, 1917-1918

Stevenson, George West
Thomas, Guy Irving
Albo, Vincenzo
Anderson, Edward C.
Baker, Burl H.
Crawford, Abraham J.
Curtis, Adolphus B.
Harding, Ben A.
Larsen, Lawrence E.
Lietz, William
Mather, William H.
McComb, William J.
Michell, Charles, J
Naranjo, Joe R.
Palliouthakis, George
Powell, Joseph
Redo, Frank
Roberts, John W.
Thomas, Arthur P.
Walkington, William H.
Worley, Nelden F.
Zobell, Henry R.

Erected By Price Chapter
Service Star Legion, Nov. 11, 1938

46032 Carmel
IN
USA
Intersection of Ocean Ave and San Carlos St
93921 Carmel-by-the-Sea
CA
USA

Carmel-by-the-Sea World War I Memorial Arch

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaqueThis memorial arch houses a ceremonial bell, which is inscribed: "In honor of those who served / In memory of those who died / We dedicate this Centennial Bell / October 31, 1916 ... October 31, 2016 / American Legion Post 512 / The people and City of Carmel-by-the-Sea."  This monument was designed in 1919 by celebrated architect Charles Sumner Green and is constructed of carmel stone. For 44 years the memorial arch lay empty, as there were not enough funds to construct a bell.  A donated bell thought to date back to 1692 was added to the memorial in 1966, where it stood until it was replaced by a new bell on Veterans Day 2016. The old bell is now stored at the library's Local History Room.

101 Main Street
30180 Villa Rica
GA
USA

“Nov. 29, 1933 - Charlie Rabun Chapter No. 14 - D.A.V of W.W. - In Memory of Our Deceased Comrades”.  “A Message to Future Generations.”  Inscribed with thirteen names.

  • Stele on plinth on step; stele with bas-reliefs on north and south sides, and plaques on east and west sides
  • Eugene H. Morahan
  • Wall
  • Eighth Assembly District Memorial Committee
  • Dedication Date: June 1921
  • June 1921
  • Other Measurements: Bas-relifs H:10'10
  • Depth: 8'6
  • Width: 10'5
Carroll Gardens
11231 New York
NY
USA

Side 1: They faced the perils of the sea and the hidden foe beneath the waves.

Side 2: They sought no glory but their country's good.

Two Honor Rolls entitled: Died in the service of their country.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: The Fair's
100 Main Street
49047 Dowagiac
MI
USA

Information

This monument dating from 1919 has a memorial plaque for Cass County residents, and one for Dowagiac City residents. It sets at the start of Main Street right across from the front of City Hall.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
141 “A” Street
98611 Castle Rock
WA
USA

There are two Granite Obelisks dedicated
to the memory of Castle Rock residents
who made The Supreme Sacrifice in the
wars of our Republic.

Inscription of WW1 Obelisk:
IN MEMORIAM
CHAS. S. CHISM
GEORGE EATON
ELMER O. LEONARD
THOMAS MARTIN
HARLAN MERRILL
RUDOLPH ROCKWELL
ALBERT W. ROSIN
RICHARD SUGARS
1917-WORLD WAR-1918

The second obelisk features the names of
Castle Rock residents lost in World War 2,
Korean War and the Vietnam War.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: thewanderer
28601 Hickory
NC
USA

Placed here in Memory of the Men from this community who participated in the World War

Rededicated by American Legion Post 48 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1957 to all veterans man and women of this area.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Memorial Hunter: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
Near 52 Forest Heights
98612 Cathlamet
WA
USA

This bronze plaque is dedicated to the fallen members of the Quillis tribe, a local chapter of the Improved Order of Red Men fraternal organization. It is located in a cemetery shelter at Greenwood Cemetery, next to a similar plaque honoring WWII servicemembers.

  • Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
  • Dedication Date: 1950
7863 Nashville St.
30736 Ringgold
GA
USA

Description:  Granite  memorial - Inscription:  “Dedicated to the memory of the men of Catoosa County, GA, who gave their lives and to all who served in World Wars I & II.  Erected 1950 by VFW Post No. 7675 of Ringgold, Georgia.”

This memorial contains the names of six soldiers from Catoosa County who died in WW1.  The backside of this memorial is dedicated to those that served in subsequent wars. 

  • Louis Lepage
  • Park
  • Dedication Date: 1920
8th Street & N Avenue
Anacortes
WA
USA

The 2 acre park is unique in its use of decorative rock and black and white mosaic for structures and walls. Low, serpentine mosaic walls surround the park, and a bandstand, amphitheater and terraces are similarly made of colored pebble and rock mosaic. Other park features include picnic tables, mature ornamental plantings, a small grassy lawn and many terraces. The park is visited frequently by tourists enthralled by its lovingly detailed decorations.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
710 N Avenue
98221 Anacortes
WA
USA

Causland Memorial Park
Commissioned in 1919 & Completed 1921
Designed by John Baptiste
French Canadian Artist & Architect 

Named in honor of Harry Leon Causland, Private, Company I, 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry DivisionNamed in honor of Harry Leon Causland, Private, Company I, 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division“Killed In Action” in 1918, at the Battle of Bantheville Hill, Meuse-Argonne Offensive, France while volunteering to carry ammunition to his comrades.  Honored as one of General John J. “Blackjack” Pershing’s “One Hundred Mortals“, he was posthumously awarded America’s second highest medal for valor, The Distinguished Service Cross.

Bandstand Memorial Plaque is dedicated to the 14 service members from Hidalgo, Sinclair, Guemes, Decatur and Cypress Islands located in Washington State, who died in World War 1

  • Dedication Date: May 30, 1996
47928 Cayuga
IN
USA