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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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34102 Naples
FL
USA

This is an "all wars" monument honoring veterans who were born in Collier County, FL, who lost their lives in combat.

26 Western Ave.
03242 Henniker
NH
USA

John F. Paramino sculpted this heroic-sized bronze bust of Col. Cogswell, who was born in Henniker, taught in its schools, and served as the commanding officer of the 11th New Hampshire Infantry in the Civil War. It sits on a granite base which bears the likenesses of an eagle with spread wings and the town seal, and text commem­orating the soldiers from Henniker who served in all wars from the Revolutionary War through WWI.

Memorial Park, Union Blvd. and Pikes Peak Ave
80910 Colorado Springs
CO
USA

Five pylons of Colorado granite arc upward in a circle from a concrete plaza. They are topped by an ornamental grill with the insignia of the five major branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and camouflaged speakers and lights. Pylons at the bottom slope away to symbolize "parade rest".  A seven ft tall green marble cylindrical container is at the bottom of the base, and has bronze circular medallions of the service seals.

Inside the container is a public address system and program­mable chimes. Sidewalks radiate outward to military monuments at each end. This is a memorial to the citizens who died in service dur­ing WWI, WWII, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. It was dedi­cated on November 11, 1968.

  • Dedication Date: May 30, 1919
1434 Springfield Road
19023 Collingdale
PA
USA

This memorial is located in Eden Cemetery, the oldest African-American-owned cemetery in the United States. Its inscription reads:

IN MEMORIAM

THE COLORED SOLDIERS
OF PENNSYLVANIA
WHO FOUGHT AND DIED
IN FRANCE 1917 - 1918
THAT LIBERTY EQUALITY
AND FRATERNITY MIGHT
BE ESTABLISHED BETWEEN
ALL NATIONS
AND AMONG ALL PEOPLES

ERECTED
BY THE MEMORIAL COMMITTEE
MAY 30, 1919

  • Photos courtesy of Holly Phillips
  • Dedication Date: July 4, 1976
9 South Main Street
31768 Moultrie
GA
USA

On the Colquitt County Courthouse grounds, granite monument with eternal flame. This memorial is inscribed with 32 service members that died in WW1. Those from WW2, Korea, and Vietnam are also listed.

Inscription: “To the Memory of Colquitt County Men Who Served During Time of War and Died in Service.”

  • American Legion post
71753 Magnolia
AR
USA
Courthouse in Columbia County, Arkansas.
1 Court Sq #3, Magnolia, AR 71753
71753 Columbia
AR
USA
No additional information at this time.
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
427 East Main Street
99328 Dayton
WA
USA

Dedicated 2009 “In Honor Of All Veterans” 
This Memorial, honoring all veterans from Columbia County in Washington State, sits on the grounds of, or next to a Home Street Bank in the county road right-of-way.
The Memorial contains Basalt columns dedicated to each war of The Republic, Flag Pole, polished black granite plates engraved with the names of Columbia County Veterans from all wars and a sculpture of a soldier kneeling before a “Battlefield Cross”

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
233 13th Street East
59912 Columbia Falls
MT
USA

Founded by the Veterans of Foreign Wars William Murphy Post 5650. Currently maintained & updated by American Legion Freedom Post 72

18th and Park St.
59442 Fort Benton
MT
USA

This bronze statue was sculpted by E.M. Viquesney, and was dedicated on November 11, 1928. It depicts a WWI infantryman ad­vancing through barbed wire and stumps of No Man's Land, wear­ing a field uniform and holding a rifle and a hand grenade. It is rest­ing on a native stone base (replacing a previous granite one), and nearby are a flagpole and two cannons which were added in 1972 when the statue was moved here from Kalispell. lt was located on Main St. there, and vehicles occasionally ran into it.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: thewanderer
  • Dedication Date: 2002
29201 Columbia
SC
USA

Dedicated November 11, 2002. This monument was erected on behalf of the citizens of South Carolina in memory of the South Carolinians who served during the Great War. It features the sculpture entitled “The Spirit of the American Doughboy”, originally sculpted by E. M. Viquesney and reproduced here from molds of the original work by Frank Colson. Plaques providing a brief history of the Doughboys of the Great War, the first American troops in World War 1, are mounted on the interior walls of the monument.

1251 Wynnton Road
31906 Columbus
GA
USA
The Columbus Museum brings American art and history to life for the communities of the Chattahoochee Valley. The exhibition From Flying Aces to Army Boots: World War I and the Chattahoochee Valley, on view from March 15 to August 27, 2017, explores the effects of World War I in the greater Columbus area. The experiences of local soldiers who fought in World War I receive special attention, as well as the impetus for the creation of Camp (now Fort) Benning at the end of the war as a U.S. Army infantry training school. African Americans’ service in the war, the life and career of Columbus native and French flying ace Eugene Bullard, and women’s volunteer service at home and abroad, are showcased. Artifacts from public and private collections illuminate these varied experiences and stories.
Victory Drive
31903 Columbus
GA
USA
The route of U.S. Highway 27 from downtown Columbus to the entrance to Fort Benning.
Talbotton Road at Midland Street
31901 Columbus
GA
USA

     A historical marker commemorates the first African-American aviator from World War I.  It reads: “Eugene J. Bullard, 1896-1961.  Bullard grew up in a small shotgun style house near this site. His father, William, was a laborer for the W. C. Bradley Company. Eugene completed the fifth grade at the 28th Street School. Shaken by the death of his mother, Josephine, and the near lynching of his father, Bullard left Columbus as a young teenager. In 1912, he stowed-away on a merchant ship out of Norfolk, Virginia. He spent the next 28 years of his life in Europe.  Erected by the Historic Columbus Foundation and Historic Chattahoochee Commission 2007”

     One of ten children of an impoverished Columbus family, he stowed away on a ship to Scotland when a teenager.  Settling in Paris, he became a boxer and worked in a music hall.  Enlisting at the outbreak of World War I in 1914, as a volunteer from overseas he was assigned to French colonial troops.  He saw combat on the Somme front as a machine gunner, and later at Artois and the second Champagne offensive.  After heavy losses by the French Foreign Legion, Bullard was allowed to transfer to the 170th Line Infantry Regiment, which eventually was sent to Verdun, where he was seriously wounded in 1916.  After recovering, he volunteered that fall for the French Air Service as an air gunner.  Following training, he received his pilot’s license in May 1917, and flew with the LaFayette Flying Corps, Escadrille N.93 and N.85, taking part in some twenty combat missions.  His reputation grew as the “Black Swallow of Death.”

     When the U.S. entered the war, Bullard stood the medical examination to serve in the LaFayette Flying Corps as part of the American Expeditionary Force, but was not accepted, as only white pilots were allowed to serve.    He served beyond the Armistice, not being discharged until October 24, 1919, and was awarded the Croix de guerre, among 15 awards from the French government.

     Living in Paris between the wars, he worked as a drummer and nightclub manager, eventually owning his own club, gaining famous friends including Louis Armstrong and Langston Hughes.  When Germany again invaded France in May 1940, Bullard fled Paris with his two surviving daughters from a marriage which had ended in divorce.  Volunteering in defense of Orleans, he was wounded, but escaped to neutral Spain and then went to the United States. 

     Never fully recovering from his war wound, and finding that his French fame did not follow him home, he worked for a while as an interpreter for Louis Armstrong.  With a financial settlement from the destruction of his Paris nightclub in the war, he bought an apartment in Harlem.  He was among those attacked and injured during the infamous Peerskill riots of 1949.  His final job was as an elevator operator at Rockefeller Center. 

     In 1954, the French government invited him to participate in the rekindling of the eternal flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe, and in 1960 he was made a knight of the Legion of Honor.  Spending his final years in relative obscurity and poverty in New York City, he died in 1961 at age 66.  He is buried in the French War Veterans’ section of Flushing Cemetery in Queens, New York.

     On August 23, 1994, 33 years after his death, and 77 years to the day after the physical that should have allowed him to fly for his own country, Eugene Bullard was posthumously commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Steven King
McPherson Park
67460 McPherson
KS
USA

This memorial, located in McPherson Park, honors the memory of the heroes from McPherson County who gave their lives in World War I. It includes an honor roll listing those from Company D, 2nd Kansas Infantry who died in the Great War. 

  • Stele with plaque
  • Other
  • Contributions from township
  • Dedication Date: Re-erected 5/7/69
  • Re-erected 5/7/69
  • Other Measurements: Plaque H:5'6
  • Depth: 32
  • Width: 7'4
Targee Street, Narrows Road South, Clove Road
NY
USA

HONOR ROLL 
WORLD WAR II 
ERECTED AND AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED TO THE MEMORY OF 
THE HEROIC MEN AND WOMEN OF CONCORD, STATEN ISLAND, 
AS A TRIBUTE TO THE SELF SACRIFICING SPIRIT THAT 
THEY DISPLAYED IN THEIR COUNTRY'S SERVICE DURING 
THE MOMENTOUS YEARS OF 1941-1945. 
MAY GOD'S BLESSINGS REST UPON THEM 
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT 


Inset box

OUR HONORED DEAD 
[16 names] 
YOU CAN CALL YOURSELF AN AMERICAN ONLY BECAUSE 
THESE MEN SERVED AND DIED, TO GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO SAY SO. 


[564 Names]

ERECTED BY THE CONCORD COMMUNITY COUNCIL IN THE YEAR 1947 
WITH THE AID OF CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE PEOPLE OF THIS TOWNSHIP. 
SITE GRANTED THROUGH THE COURTESY OF THE PATRICK J. DALESSIO POST NO. 1310 OF THE AMERICAN LEGION. 

Central Park
64020 Concordia
MO
USA

The G.A.R. and the American Legion and Auxiliary raised the $600 cost of this limestone statue, dedicated on September 23, 1923. It shows a standing WWI soldier, at attention with his rifle in his right hand. Originally, the plaque honored WWI veterans, but it was later replaced by one that also included the veterans of the Civil and Spanish-American Wars.

  • Con Ed
  • building designated a City landmark (2009)
  • Con Ed Emplyees who died in WWI
  • Dubbed the “Tower of Light” in corporate literature, the tower was intended to be both a symbol of one of the nation’s leading producers of power and light and a memorial to the company’s employees who had died in World War I and incorporates numerous devices in its decorative program such as torches and burning urns appropriate for a building associated with lighting and with funereal monuments. These dual purposes were also served by an elaborate program of nighttime illumination, inaugurated in July 1929. Although the lighting has been updated to reflect modern technology, the tower continues to be illuminated at night and remains in the words of the New York Times one of the “crowns of light [that] grace the skyline” and a symbol of Consolidated Edison, Inc. (source: http://www.unionsquarecommunitycoalition.org/landmarking/coned.html)
  • Warren & Wetmore, architects
  • Commercial, Light, Altitude
  • Airport or air field
  • Consolidated Edison Company
  • 1929
  • 1926
  • Materials (select all that apply): Brick
4 Irving Place
10003 New York
NY
USA

Atop the 24-story, 425-foot Con Ed building is a colossal, 38-foot-tall bronze and glass lantern dedicated to the Con Ed employees killed in World War I. 

  • American Legion post
115 S. Moose St.
72110 Morrilton
AR
USA

Courthouse in Conway County, Arkansas.

115 S Moose St, Morrilton, AR 72110
72110 Morrilton
AR
USA

No additional information at this time.