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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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Oakwood Cemetery, off of Hatch Blvd
35660 Sheffield
AL
USA

101 Memorial

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque This project by the citizens of Muscle Shoals Area of Alabama is to recognize and honor the civilian war efforts of those who worked and died during 1918 in the building of Nitrate Plants and Wilson Dam of the Tennessee River. Sponsorship of the project is being provided by a local Steering Committee of leading citizens together with support from the American Legion and DAR/SAR organizations.

The 101 victims (all died in Nitrate #2 hospital) were recorded by name and sketched as to location of burial by Mr. R.B. Brodie (recorded in data book of 1918 and transcribed in 1921). It is intended that this recognition monument stand for all time as a tribute to their devotion to duty and sacrifice during time of war in service to their nation.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Courtney Luciana
279 Derby Avenue
06516 West Haven
CT
USA

The memorial was constructed August 9, 1942 by the New Haven Chapter Yankee Division Veterans Association. The regiment is where the New Haven Grays were formed. Today the memorial continues to serve as an active National Guard Reserve Unit.

Central Park, 5th Ave. and 67th St.
10065 New York
NY
USA

This bronze sculpture nearly 10 X 15 X 5 feet in size, depicts seven soldiers charging the front lines during WWI. The three cen­tral ones attack with bayonets while the others are wounded and slump. They are arranged as in a pyramid, and beneath is a stepped granite base. It was sculpted by Karl Illava (1896-1954) and dedicated on 66th St. on September 29,1927, to honor the members of this in­fantry regiment who served in WWI. It was moved to its present site after WWII.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: The Wanderer
101 E. 5th Ave.
37917 Knoxville
TN
USA

In 1921 a monument was erected in front of Knoxville High School in honor of the men who served in the 117th Infantry Regiment during World War I. The 117th had been part of the 3rd Tennessee Infantry in the pre-war National Guard. Called into service, the unit became the 117th Infantry Regiment, serving during the Great War as part of the 30th Infantry Division. On May 22, 1922 a special dedication ceremony was held. General John Pershing was one of the guest speakers who addressed the crowd of approximately 7,000.

The memorial consists of a life-sized bronze World War I infantryman appearing to run across rocky ground, carrying a rifle in his left hand and a grenade in his upraised right hand.  Beneath is a granite base and behind is a tall granite shaft topped by an eagle with outstretched wings. The shaft is adorned with medallions and several plaques honoring the local participants in wars from the Mexican War through World War I.  Some list the names of the 453 members of the 117th Infantry who died in World War I.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
100 E. Market st
78205 San Antonio
TX
USA

Description: Dedicated to: The Oldest Malitia Unit In Texas.Serving in all wars of the United States, from The Texas Revolution To World War II.  The 141st fought in the Meuse Argonne Campaign in WWI.  The Monument is located in the 36th Infantry Division Plaza and was erected in 1991 by the San Antonio Chapter of the 36th Division Association.at the intersection of E. Market Street and Losoya St./Alamo St. It is on the street just above San Antonio’s world famous River Walk.  The monument is also about two blocks from the famous Schilo’s Delicatessen, a San Antonio landmark since 1917.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
755 NE Myra Road
99362 Walla Walla
WA
USA

The 66th Artillery Brigade was the parent organization of the 146th. It had two assigned Field Artillery Regiments, the 146th and 148th, was the first brigade of the A. E. F. (American Expeditionary Force) to have its regiments become motorized heavy artillery units. The 146th, arriving in their training camp at Camp de Souge, France, (10 miles southwest of Bordeaux) first on January 16,1918, were equipped with the newly manufactured French 155mm (6 in.) Filloux rifles, commonly know as the 155 G. P. F. gun. The 148th arrived there on February 14th and was soon also equipped with these spectacular guns.The 146th Field Artillery Regiment of the Washington National Guardwas originally formed at Fort Walla Walla, WA, there was little or no time to train with as all units once formed were quickly sent to France. Fort Walla Walla served the U.S. Cavalry from 1859 to closing in 1910.  The was briefly reopened in 1917 to train A.E.F. Field Artillery Battalions.It wasn’t until they reached France that the Brigade was designated as “Corps Artillery” reporting to either a Corps or the higher unit, the First Army, and assigned the 155 mm G. P. F. Guns. Their combat service was within the First Army, however, when serving in Germany with the Army of Occupation, they were within the Third Army area. As such they worn the Third Army patch on their left shoulder, a white A within a red circle in all of the available pictures 

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: The Wanderer
1238 N. Columbus St.
43130 Lancaster
OH
USA

The inscription on this memorial reads:

“In Memoriam”
This plot dedicated to the
Boys of the Rainbow Division
166th Inf. World War 42nd Div.

A list of names is included on the memorial. It is unclear whether this list includes all members from the Lancaster Chapter who served, or those members killed while in service to their country.

700 19th St (VA Hospital)
35233 Birmingham
AL
USA
Erected by the Mortimer H. Jordan Chapter of the Rainbow Division Association.
Town Hall
08250 Fleville
Grand Est
France

This memorial is located in the parking spaces directly in front of the Fleville town hall.  It is dedicated to the 16th Infantry Regiment who liberated the village of Fléville on October 4th, 1918. During this liberation, 27 of the soldiers of the 16th Infantry Regiment were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

The memorial is a stone stele with a bronze plaque containing text and the symbol of the 16th Infantry Regiment.  The inscription reads:

This plaque is dedicated to the men of the 16th Infantry Regiment who fought so gallantly during the heavy fighting in the Meuse-Argonne and who on October 4, 1918 liberated the village of Fleville from the Germans. During the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne and the liberation of Fleville, twenty-seven men of the Regiment received the Distinguished Service Cross, America's second highest award for gallantry in action. It was after the liberation of Fleville, that the 16th Infantry Regiment adopted the Blue and White Fur Vair shield from the town's Coat of Arms, as the background for its Regimental Crest. That crest has been worn proudly by members of the Regiment for over eighty-years and has seen service in World War II, the Cold War, Vietnam, in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and in Bosnia. The Regiment stands ready to serve again with pride and distinction. SEMPER PARATUS - ALWAYS PREPARED. 

The Regiment and the village of Fleville must never forget the heroic actions of those men and their dedication to their country and the ideals of freedom. We must always remember that - FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE. In this small French village in 1918, the price of Freedom was very high. 

Presented November 11, 1999 by the 16th Infantry Regiment Association. 

Foxfire Trace and Bunker Court
28465 Caswell Beach
NC
USA

1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range Memorial

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaqueOn January 21, 1918, the U.S. War Department proposed the construction of a new rifle range adjacent to Fort Caswell, N.C., for small arms training of soldiers in preparation for the entrance of the United States into World War I. After World War II, the rifle range was declared surplus and sold. In commemoration of the Centennial of World War I, a group of Caswell Beach residents have worked to create a memorial and dedicate the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range to the WWI veterans of Brunswick County, N.C. and have the structure added to the National Register of Historic Places.  

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

The American Legion Harvey W. Seeds Post No. 29 erected this memorial to the World War veterans who died in the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. It is located in Section 2A of Woodlawn Park North Cemetery. The memorial sits atop a mass grave of five parallel trenches, originally containing 90 identified bodies (81 veterans, 9 civilians) and 19 unidentified bodies -- 109 altogether. Four veterans were later exhumed. 70 of the remaining veteran graves are marked, most since 2015. The burial with full military honors took place on September 8, 1935.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
111 South 18th Street
98901 Yakima
WA
USA

The Merci Train was a train of 49 French railroad box cars filled with tens of thousands of gifts of gratitude from at least that many individual French citizens. They were showing their appreciation for the more than 700 American box cars of relief goods sent to them by (primarily) individual Americans in 1948. The Merci Train arrived in New York harbor on February 3rd, 1949 and each of the 48 American states at that time received one of the gift-laden box cars. The 49th box car was shared by Washington D.C. and the Territory of Hawaii. Parades and ceremonies of welcome were conducted in the state capitols and major cities of almost all the states.

The 40/8 designation refers to the fact that during World War 1, each box car could handle either 40 soldiers or 8 horses as troops, horses and supplies were shipped to the front lines.

The symbol of the Merci Train to the right, shown next to the French flag, is a frontal view of a steam engine with flowers on the pilot which are symbolic of Flanders Field, where many American "Doughboys" from WW1 are buried. The drawing was adopted as the official symbol of the French Merci Train Committee, and a plaque of the drawing was placed on each of the Merci box cars. The committee also had gift tags made bearing the symbol, and one accompanied each of the more than 52,000 gifts that came in the box cars.

 

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70 and D&M Bolstad
128 Main St./U.S. Hwy. 3
03584 Lancaster
NH
USA

Sculpture Foundry:
Gotham Silversmiths

IN HONOR OF THE
MEN AND WOMEN
OF LANCASTER
NEW HAMPSHIRE
WHO SERVED IN
THE ARMED FORCES
OF THEIR COUNTRY
IN TIME OF WAR

This plaque is on the Main Street side of the monument which is toped by the Gorham
Silversmith’s foundry produced American Eagle with full spread wings. On the other
three sides are Honor Rolls listing those residents who served in the 20th Century wars
of our republic. This monument was dedicated on Memorial Day, Wednesday, May 30th,
1951.

HONOR ROLL
WORLD WAR I
1917 - 1918

This plaque lists the names of 143 Lancaster residents who served in the war and the
five Sons of Lancaster who “Made The Supreme Sacrifice” in defense of our liberty.
Those five lost son’s names are followed by a star.

This Monument sits front and center in Lancaster’s Centennial Park, formerly know as
Central Park, this gray granite War Memorial Monument surrounded by Weeks Memorial
Library and the Coos County Superior Court.

  • 15 tree markers, boulder, plaque
  • 1917 Honor Roll of the 307th Infantry 1919 / 77th Division A.E.F. Baccarat-Oise-Meuse-Argonne /
  • Grove or tree(s)
  • Knights of Pythias
  • Dedication Date: 1925
  • 1925
Central Park
10019 New York
NY
USA

Front: (Names of 590 men are listed in 9 columns.)
Rear: To The Dead / of the / 307th Infantry A.E.F / 590 Officers and Men / 1917-1919 /

  • Single figure -- soldier
  • Dedication Date: 1977

32nd Red Arrow Division 

After American entry into World War I in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson ordered all of Michigan's National Guard to Camp Grayling. Eight thousand of these troops then went to Texas where they joined Wisconsin soldiers to form the 32nd Division. Arriving in France in 1918 the division earned the name "Red Arrow" for its swift assaults through German lines. During World War II the 32nd Red Arrow Division fought courageously in the Pacific Theatre and received a commendation from General Douglas MacArthur.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: The Wanderer
Jefferson St and Washington St.
45123 Greenfield
OH
USA

The inscription on this memorial reads :

THEY GAVE THEIR ALL

OUR HONORED

WORLD WAR I 1917-18

[Followed by an Honor Roll listing the 49 men from Greenfield, Ohio who served in the 42nd "Rainbow" Division during World War I].

La Croix Rouge
02130 Fère-en-Tardenois
Hauts-de-France
France

Inaugurated in November 2012, this Memorial of the 42nd Division commemorates the 162 soldiers from Alabama and their Iowa comrades who died on the battle field of the Croix Rouge Farm as well as all the soldiers of the Rainbow Division who gave their life for France during the Great War. Created by British sculptor James Butler, MBE (RA), it was erected by the Croix Rouge Farm Memorial Foundation (Montgomery, Alabama) and was donated to the city of Fère-en-Tardenois, so that the bronze soldier who carries the body of his dead comrade remains forever the witness of the sacrifice made by young Americans on July 26, 1918, and so that it remains for future generations a symbol of French-American friendship and a call for peace among nations. 

For background on the memorial, see: https://croixrougefarm.org/the-sculpture/

  • Other
219 29th Division St
21201 Baltimore
MD
USA

Inside the 5th Regiment Armory in Baltimore is a Maryland Museum of Military History. Although the armory is usually closed to visitors, the building's facade is home to a number of WW1 memorials.

Veterans Park Drive
35630 Florence
AL
USA

This 75mm field gun is a modification of a French gun that was designed in 1917. The 75mm was the most effective light field gun in W.W.I. It was also used against infantry, tanks, and other armored targets in W.W.II. 

This gun is 17'-3" long, and weights 3,400lbs. Its range was 13,870 yards, and fired 6 rounds per minute. The 75mm shell weighed 19lbs., and could be fixed, high-explosive, chemical, smoke, or armor-piercing.

The 105mm has now replaced the 75mm gun as the light artillery weapon.

Bronx Blvd. and 219th St.
10467 Bronx
NY
USA

This 19 foot tall monument was designed by architect Charles W. Stoughton (1871-1945) and installed here in 1924, as a memorial to the veterans of WWI.