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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: Jarod Jeglum
300 Main St.
58765 Noonan
ND
USA

The decision to build a memorial hall in Noonan (pop. 423) rather than the county seat of Crosby (pop. 1271) ended up being contested in ND Supreme Court Case Gehrke et al v Board of Commissioners of Divide County. The building was built with a full basement and main floor that included an auditorium with a balcony on the main floor. The lower level included a kitchen and lounge. The building is currently vacant.

  • Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
  • Dedication Date: October 14, 1984
5401 Courthouse Circle
31023 Eastman
GA
USA

Granite monument listing war dead from Eastman County for the major conflicts.  Inscription:  “Dedicated to All Those Who Served and In Memory of Those Who Paid the Supreme Sacrifice So We Might Live Free of Oppression and Tyranny.” 


Thirty-nine names are listed for WW1. 

“Dedicated Oct. 14, 1984, as a joint project of the Eastman Kiwanis Club and the American Legion Post #126.”

  • Photos courtesy of Janet Joiner, Community Development Director
104 S. 2nd Street
31092 Vienna
GA
USA

Located at the front entrance of the Dooly County Courthouse, this Granite memorial contains four bronze plaques, one each for WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Inscription: “Dedicated to the Honor and Sacrifice of our Men and Women who Served our Country in War and Peace.”

High and Water Streets
21613 Cambridge
MD
USA

Granite monument dedicated to recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross and memorial fountain, located in Long Wharf Park

. 5th and 6th Sts. and Grand Ave.
90013 Los ANGELES
CA
USA
  • "Hough hoy"

Pershing Square. Mill. 5th and 6th Sts. and Grand Ave., Ios An­geles- CA; Ciiy of los Angeles, Cultural Affairs Depanmeni. Public Art Division. 433 S. Spring St.. 10th Floor. l.os Angeles. CA 90013: Outdoors. Free.

On top a 12 foot tall granite pedestal stands a bronze WWI uniformed soldier holding a Hag. At the top of the pedestal are two bands of stars, a dozen on each side. At the bottom is a bronze eagle. On the back of the pedestal is a bronze medal, and on the front is a olive branch and helmet. It was sculpted by lluoiliciio J. Pc-dictti and dedicated on July 4.1924. to all WWI veterans. The olive branch and helmet were added in 1927 by French veterans.

  • 47260121
  • Single figure -- soldier
  • Dedication Date: July 4, 1926
Zelasko Park
Aberdeen
WA
USA

THE SPIRIST OF THE AMERICAN DOUGHBOY, WHO IN PEACE REPRESENTED THE IDEALS OF A NATION OF FREEMEN, AND IN THE WORLD WAR FEARLESSLY FACED DEATH IN DEFENSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND LIBERTY. CHERISHING THE MEMORISES OF THOSE WHO FELL, AND WITH GRATITUDE TO THE SURVIVORS OF THE THE NATION'S CONFLICTS, THIS STATUE WAS ERECTED BY THE VETERANS AND PATRIOTIC ORGANIZATION OF ABERDEEN WASHINGTON. JULY 4, 1926

  • Allen G. Newman
  • Dedication Date: 1929

This monument commemorates the soldiers from Cliffside Park, NJ who served in World War I.  It was dedicated on Decoration Day 1929. 

The bronze sculpture depicts a WWI soldier leaning on his left foot. He is wearing his uniform, ragged on both arms, a helmet and carrying a rifle on his left shoulder. His left hand is holding the rife strap, his right hand is hooked to the ammunition belt hanging around his hips. He is wearing a gas mask on his chest & a canteen on his right hip. 

On February 12, 1950, the monument was rededicated and a new plaque was added to include the names of the soldiers who gave their lives in WWII. The new plaque, made of polished labradorite, covers the original inscription on the stone base. 

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000379.

Photos courtesy of: Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) 

  • Dedication Date: 1922
Veterans Plaza, Wampum Park, Route 35 & West Street
07724 Eatontown
NJ
USA

This World War I monument consists of an approx. 5' tall sculpture placed upon a square base about 5' high.  A plaque with raised lettering on the front of the base indicates this was erected to honor the men of Eatontown who served in the war. 

The sculpture itself depicts a WWI doughboy at parade rest with his left foot forward.  The soldier clasps the barrel of a rifle with both hands. The butt of the rifle rests on the ground near his right foot.  He wears a wide-brimmed hat, a belted jacket and his pants are tucked into wrappings that cover both calves. There is a tree trunk behind his left leg.

The monument was purchased from LL Manning & Son, a Plainfield, NJ monument company. 

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000434. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Nell Rapport
145 West Main St.
15401 Uniontown
PA
USA

This doughboy statue is located on the George C. Marshall Memorial Plaza in downtown Uniontown, PA.  The inscription reads:

ERECTED IN THE YEAR 1936 BY UNIONTOWN POST NO. 47 VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS OF THE UNTIED STATES.  IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED OUR COUNTRY IN ALL WARS AND WHO HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIVES THAT WE MAY LIVE AND PROSPER IN PEACE.

 

  • Richard Walter Bock
  • Dedication Date: 1920
Westmont Fire Company, 120 Haddon Avenue
08108 Haddon Township
NJ
USA

The Haddon Township Doughboy is one of the iconic figures not designed by Visquesney. It was, instead, designed by sculptor Richard Walter Bock who had been born in Germany in 1865. In 1870, his family emigrated to Chicago where his father opened a cabinet making business. Bock began his art education in the United States but returned to his native country and France to complete his training.

Bock opened a sculpture studio in Chicago, designed sculptures for the World’s Fair Columbian Exposition, and gained notice by his interior bas-reliefs for the city’s Schiller Theatre designed by famed Chicago architect, Louis Sullivan. While working with Sullivan, Bock became acquainted with the architect’s draftsman, Frank Lloyd Wright. Bock became a friend of Wright’s and designed numerous sculptures for Wright buildings.

In 1928, Bock was selected as head of the Sculpture Department at the University of Oregon. He retired from the University in 1932, and died in 1949. In his memoirs, Bock described the Haddon Township commission:

Following the War, I had  a number of commissions commemorating that unhappy event. One was a very conventional statue made as a civic monument for Jersey City, New Jersey. It was a realistic charging soldier with a fixed bayonet, titled “Over the Top.”…In a small size, about four feet tall, it was widely copied for schools all over the county.”

One cast of his Jersey City sculpture is located in Haddon Township, Camden County. It includes a pedestal on which the 81 Township residents who served in the war are commemorated, The monument originally stood in front of Westmont School #1, located at the intersection of Haddon and Reeve Avenues. In 1961, the sculpture was moved to its present location, in front of the Westmont Firehouse on Haddon Avenue. The monument was dedicated in 1920.

Narrative adapted from Sandra White-Grear, “The Haddon Township Doughboy,” edited and added to by William Brahms, Haddon Township Historical Society, 2010.

Photos courtesy of:  Haddon Township Historical Society

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Christopher Nay
50 S High St
26757 Romney
WV
USA

This stone sculpture honoring Hampshire County, WV veterans who gave there lives in World War I is officially name Doughboy - World War I.

The text of the monument reads:

IN HONOR OF/HAMPSHIRE'S SONS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/AND THEIR SERVICE IN THE WORLD WAR/"WE ARE THE DEAD/SHORT DAYS AGO WE LIVED/FELT DAWN, SAW SUNSET GLOW/LOVED AND WERE LOVED"/(list of twenty seven county dead)/ERECTED BY THE HAMPSHIRE REVIEW/1928

  • NJ000048
  • Amos Wheatley
  • Dedication Date: 1921
  • Width: 2 ft
Veterans Memorial Park, 609 Raritan Avenue
08904 Highland Park
NJ
USA

This monument depicts a World War I soldier in uniform standing at parade rest. Both hands grasp the barrel of his rifle, the butt of which rests on the ground.

The monument was sponsored by Amos Wheatley and dedicated to veterans of The Great War. It was purchased from LL Manning & Son, a Plainfield, NJ monument company. 

It was rededicated in 1989 as part of a refurbishing project at Veterans' Memorial Park. The figure was knocked slightly off its original position by a collision with a tractor trailer truck.

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory NJ000048.

Photos courtesy of: Sheena Chi

  • Dedication Date: c.1930
Church Street
07718 Middletown
NJ
USA

This World War I monument consists of a life-size statue of a doughboy standing at attention in full uniform with the barrel of a rifle in his right hand and the butt of the rifle on the ground.  The figure is set upon a granite plinth, square in cross-section, with an angled top, resting on a rusticated granite slab. 

A bronze plaque mounted on the front of the plinth contains the names of local soldiers from Belford, Port Monmouth & New Monmouth, NJ who served in the war.  The monument sits on a low mound to heighten its prominence.  It was purchased from LL Manning & Son, a Plainfield, NJ monument company. 

Photo courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office 

  • NJ 000149
  • Eagle Bronze Works
  • Depth: 3 ft
  • Width: 3 ft
Police Station, Central & Broad
07650 Palisades Park
NJ
USA

This monument consists of a bronze WWI soldier in uniform holding a rifle in his left hand & a grenade in his right hand.  He wears a helmet, shirt, belt with packs, pants & boots.

It appears this statue was recently moved from its original granite base to the current polished black stone, 3-tiered base. 

The original bronze honor roll plaque has been restored and mounted on a separate, nearby stone pillar. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Mel Butcheck
  • Pennsylvania
  • Dedication Date: restored & re-dedicated 9 June 2018
N 2nd St & Spring Garden St
19123 Philadelphia
PA
USA

Doughboy statue - with Honor Roll

9 June 2018, broken bayonet and the stolen plaque have been replaced by Kreilick Conservation, LLC.

The names of the 400 soldiers from the missing bronze plaque were provided by Charles and Mildred Vessey.  Mildred’s father, Charles Burg, was a WWI Vet and had attended the original ceremony.  He told them to keep the program because “some day someone will want those names”

The Doughboy statue is located at Second and Spring Garden streets and honors soldiers  from the River Wards who served in the First World War. The statue is a bronze figure of a WWI Doughboy in uniform with field pack, carrying a rifle with bayonet in his left hand. A plaque plaque on the front of the granite pedestal reads: “IN MEMORY OF OUR BOYS OF THE SIXTH, ELEVENTH, AND TWELFTH WARDS WHO SERVED IN THE GREAT WAR OF THE NATIONS, 1914 – 1918.”

Title(s) - Philadelphia Northern Liberties Doughboy Memorial

Location
-- 2nd St & Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19123
-- in Madison Memorial park
-- GPS coordinates 39.960815, -75.141258

Inscriptions (all text on a memorial, including names)
-- Flour City Orn. Iron Co., Mpls., Minn

Physical properties
-- bronze figure of a WWI Doughboy in uniform with field pack, ammunition belt, canteen, gas mask bag, carrying a rifle with bayonet

History
--dedicated: 30 May 1920
--Sculptor: John Paulding
--the name of the statue is "Over the Top"
--honors soldiers from the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia who served during the First World War, a star marks those who died
--Original Location: park on 5th St between streets that pre-date current street layout
- Moved the statue to 17th and Spring Garden in 1975 due to construction
- Moved to present location 1981

Condition 2017
-- fair
-- one plaque missing showing last name beginning with A-I
-- broken bayonet

Conservation treatment completed December, 2017, re-dedicated 9 June 2018

Condition 2018
-- Good
-- Replaced missing plaque on eastern side
-- Replaced missing section of bronze bayonet
-- entire sculpture leaned and re-waxed

 --conservation issues - city of Phila. planted a tree only four feet from the memorial

  • Dedication Date: 1920
Routes 33 & 526
Robbinsville
NJ
USA

This World War I doughboy statue is fabricated from concrete - one of four in the state of NJ using that material.  The 7' figure stands atop a 10' tall, square pedestal inscribed with the names of 15 men from Washington Township, NJ who served in The Great War. 

The land for the memorial was donated by resident & Civil War veteran, John Yard in 1919.  The monument was purchased from LL Manning & Son, a Plainfield, NJ monument company.  It was unveiled on October 16, 1920 with more than 1,000 people in attendance. 

Narrative adapted from Cathy Zahn, "Nearly a Century Old, but Doughboy's Message of Patriotism is Timeless," Robbinsville Sun website.

Photo Credit:  Sheena Chi

  • NJ 000307
  • Gaetano Federici
  • J.W. Fiske Iron Works
  • Dedication Date: 1926
Wanaque Borough Hall, 579 Ringwood Ave
07465 Wanaque
NJ
USA

This version of a doughboy was sculpted by Italian-American sculptor Gaetano Federici who emigrated to the United States and settled in Paterson.

The memorial consists of a statue of a World War I soldier mounted on a rectangular base. The base is flanked by four steles commemorating other wars. The soldier is painted bronze and stands with a rifle, butt end down in his left hand. At his side, he holds a grenade in his clenched right fist. The sculpture is mounted on a square base with a commemorative plaque on the front. It was originally dedicated on Memorial Day 1926 on the grounds of the community house in Midvale.

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000307.

Photo courtesy of: Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)

  • Single figure -- soldier
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Memorial Hunter: Denise Coughlin
  • Dedication Date: 1925
Corner of E Main St and Pershing St
21539 Lonaconing
MD
USA

This memorial plaque and statue are dedicated to those from Lonaconing who died in service during World War 1.

  • E.M. Viquesney
  • Single figure -- soldier
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Memorial Hunter: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
  • Dedication Date: November 11, 1923
535 NE 5th St, Yamhill County Courthouse
97128 McMinnville
OR
USA

This Doughboy was originally dedicated to the Yamhill County soldiers of the World War in 1923, but its base now also contains plaques memorializing servicemembers in later wars. It is located in a small park adjacent to the Yamhill County Courthouse.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Memorial Hunter: Joe Bisbing
3300 New Jersey Ave
08260 Wildwood
NJ
USA

Unknown Battles around base: :Chateau Thierry, Belleau Wood Cantigay, Meuse Argonne, Soissons St. Mihiel. On wreath: Loyalty, Courage, Sacrifice, Victory Located at 38deg, 59', 31N", 74deg, 48"52"W