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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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735 Longmeadow St
01106 Longmeadow
MA
USA

This is a metal flagpole installed in the center of a low semicir­cular granite wall decorated by an American Legion emblem. On each end of the wall is a bronze plaque. The memorial was erected in 1930 as a tribute to Albert T. Wood, the only Longmeadow sol­dier killed in action during WWI. He died in the Battle of Argonne Forest on October 20, 1918.

Former Bernalillo County Courthouse, 415 Tijeras Ave.
87102 Albuquerque
NM
USA

A bronze plaque mounted on a granite boulder was placed here in 1962, designed by sculptor Worg. It commemorates the 1,750 men from Bernalillo County who fought in WWI, approximately 50 of which were killed in service.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: thewanderer
04660 Bar Harbor
ME
USA

A resident and lover of Mount Desert Island who commanded the United States Naval Radio Station upon this site from its establishment on August 28, 1917 until December 12, 1919.

At the end of the World War he was awarded the Navy Cross. His citation stated that under his direction the station became the most important and the most efficient station in the world.

This tablet is erected by his friends and fellow townsmen in testimony to his patriotic service, high character and endearing qualities.

7401 SR5 Pinecrest Memorial Park
72002 Alexander
AR
USA

Four life-size marble figures stand back-to-back, each facing one of the four cardinal directions.  South represents a Naval Marine, east is a Sailor, north is a soldier wearing WWII Army combat gear, and west is an Air Force soldier in dress gear.  Beneath them is a marble base atop a brick planter, adorned with plaques representing their military branch.  This memorial was sculpted by Bernhard Zuckerman and placed in the Pinecrest Memorial Park cemetery in approx. 1968.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Edgar Bates
302 Aspen Pl
22305 Alexandria
VA
USA

Information

In 1910, Freemasons in the United States created the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association (GWNMMA) to construct a memorial to George Washington somewhere in Alexandria, Virginia. A site atop Shooter's Hill was chosen, and ground for the massive memorial building and tower was broken at noon on June 5, 1922. Laying of the memorial's cornerstone occurred on November 1, 1923. By February 1924, the foundation was complete. To support the tower eight massive granite columns were placed on the floor of the first story. The floor of the second story was built atop them, and eight more massive granite columns placed above the first story columns. The roof of the second floor was supported by this second set of columns. The tower above rested on these second-floor columns. In December 1924, the installation of eight green marble columns (each weighing 11 to 18 tons) occurred on the first floor. Each column was 18 feet (5.5 m) high and 4.5 feet (1.4 m) in diameter, and arrived at Alexandria's Union Station by train from Redstone, New Hampshire. It was provided by the Maine & New Hampshire Granite Corp. One columnar section was damaged, and given to the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). The VFW turned it into a memorial to American war dead, and erected it in front of Alexandria's Union Station in 1942.

Town Hall, Main St.
01230 Great Barrington
MA
USA

H.L. Movius designed this pair of curved granite benches, with ends formed as wings with three-toed claws, all placed on a wide-semicircular granite base. This was a gift of Mrs. F.B. Robins of Toronto, Ontario, in 1926 in memory of her son. Alfred Skitt Reed, a veteran of WWI.

  • Dedication Date: July 14, 1980
47933 Crawfordsville
IN
USA
30 Flanders Road
07840 Budd Lake
NJ
USA

The ALL VETERANS MEMORIAL  is New Jersey's premier veteran's memorial located at Turkey Brook Park in Mount Olive, New Jersey and touted for its distinctive designs and calming landscape. The unique ceremonial ground is the host to historically denoted military ceremonies and vigils.  

The shape or footprint of the memorial was inspired by the Congressional Medal of Honor which is highest military honor to be earned from the United States and is awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. Because the medal is presented "in the name of Congress", it is often ... intended to represent the gratitude of the American people. The AVM's STAR or Pentagon Platform  represents the five branches of services, equally divided. The area consists of pavers that denote the honorable military service of all who served during war or peacetime. 

The War Dog Memorial features a statue, among others, of Sgt. Stubby, hero dog of World War I.  See pictures gallery.

For more detail on the AVM see: https://www.allveteransmemorial.org/

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
Southwest Watson Avenue, Central Beaverton
97005 Beaverton
OR
USA

Erected in part by Beaverton “Barracks 1760, Veterans Of World War 1”. Dedicated: “August 1980

 

Bronze Plaque At Base Of Adjacent Flag Pole Reads

 

      Donated By Beaverton Posts

    4617 Veterans Of Foreign Wars

             124 American Legion

Barracks 1760, Veterans Of World Wart 1

 

The Fayetteville County, TX one is a bit more difficult, because the granite monument says one thing, and in actuality, that has been changed.  It says the plaques listing soldiers names are inside the courthouse when they have been moved outside and attached to metal stands around the granite monument.  

In addition, one of the new ones I am submitting today needs two photos also, because you can not tell from the full photo what you are looking at, because the bronze plaque is mounted flat to the ground and the name plaques are randomly and individuals mounted to a nondescript concrete block.

East Haven Green
06512 East Haven
CT
USA

On the southwest corner of the East Haven Green is a shaft of light gray Barre granite, topped by a globe showing the outlines of the continents.  On the front of the shaft is a relief of an eagle with raised wings and talons clutching sticks. It was made by the Thomas Phillips and Sons Co. and was dedicated on May 30, 1988. Sponsored by the East Haven Town Green Restoration Committee, American Legion Posts 89 and 175, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2090, it is a tribute to the Veterans of all wars.  Inscribed on the memorial: KEEP FOREVER LIVING THE FREEDOMS FOR WHICH THEY SERVED; LET NONE FORGET THEY GAVE THEIR ALL AND FALTERED NOT WHEN CAME THE CALL.

Church St
06082 Enfield
CT
USA

This monument was sculpted by David Richards and was erected in 1885 to honor the citizens of Enfield who served in the Civil War.  Later plaques were added as tributes to those who served in World War I and World War II.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
119 Veterans Drive
78934 Columbus
TX
USA

It is an all wars Memorial Monument in Columbus, TX.  It stands in front of the Veterans Memorial Center.

  • IAS PA000002
  • Single figure -- soldier
Logan Circle, in front of Franklin Institute off of Benjamin Franklin Parkway
19103 Philadelphia
PA
USA

Photos and description courtesy of waymarking.com

The front of this vertical granite monument is adorned with an allegorical female figure representing "Justice" flanked by two groups of three African-American officers, soldiers and sailors representing those from Pennsylvania who served in American wars. The figure of Justice is dressed in long flowing robes and wears her hair pulled back and braided around her face. She stands on a low stepped platform holding up a small wreath in each hand to represent Honor and Reward. The African-American Servicemen are dressed in the uniforms of the various branches of the military. On the back of the monument four allegorical female figures, representing the principles for which wars are fought, flank a bronze tablet. On the proper left of the tablet stands "War" holding a shield and wearing a helmet. Next to her stands "Liberty" carrying a torch and wearing the headdress of the Statue of Liberty. On the proper right of the tablet stands "Peace" carrying a large palm frond. Next to her stands "Plenty" holding a filled cornucopia. The monument is topped with a bronze Torch of Life surrounded by four eagles.

Freedom Square
44601 Alliance
OH
USA

Steven P. Rebeck sculpted this pair of monuments, a ten foot tall granite soldier to honor Civil War veterans and a shorter bronze one tor WWI veterans.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Memorial Hunter: Ann Taylor
Hwy 49 -- southern entrance to Sutter Creek
95685 Sutter Creek
CA
USA

A large triangular stone is set in a narrow grass island at the South entrance/exit to Sutter Creek. This memorial to the men of Amador County was the original brass plaque placed on the stone. Later plaques were added to the stone commemorating those lost in later foreign wars. The back side of the stone has a plaque for those lost in Vietnam. The stone is multicolored: golds, reds, greens (partly due to moss and lichen). The brass has not been polished in recent years, but it is still easy to read.

When exiting town South on Old Hwy. 49, the WWI plaque is visible, facing the driver on the left side of the road. When entering town, headed North, the stone is to the left with the WWI plaque visible only after you pass. The "Vietnam in Honored Glory" plaque faces those entering from the South.

  • James Novelli
  • Dedication Date: 1922
Pershing Field, Summit Avenue & Sanford Place
07307 Jersey City
NJ
USA

The following is an account of the dedication of the monument published in the New York Times issue of July 5, 1922:

Roses Fall on Monument: 

Jersey City Unveils Memorial  for 147 Soldiers Who Fell in War.

A monument to 147 soldiers from Jersey City who fell in the war was unveiled at Pershing Field, Jersey City, yesterday afternoon, as part of Jersey City's Independence Day exercises. A feature of the ceremony was the dropping of roses over the field during the services.

Lieutenant Stanton Weissenborn, a former army air pilot, circled above the crowd for two hours, and at frequent intervals dropped a rose until 147, one for each man who died, had fluttered down and made an immense bouquet at the foot of the monument.

The memorial is a life-size bronze figure of a woman, her arms filled with laurels. It is called, "Triumphant America." It was bought by the people of Jersey City through voluntary subscription.

Julius Beger, Chairman of the Monument Committee, presented the memorial to the Captain E. Fisk Post of the American Legion, and Arthur Liesemgang, post commander, presented it to the city. Lieutenant Louis Van Den Ecker, representing the French Consul General at New York; Dr. Foster Timothy of New York, representing British veterans, and Lieut. Col. Kerfoot, U.S.A., were among those who took part in the exercises.

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

  • Administered by City of Palatka, 201 North 2nd Street, Palatka, Florida 32177 Located Memorial Park Bridge, Southeast side, Palatka, Florida
  • Figure of a World War I doughboy or marine with a rifle slung over his proper right shoulder.
  • One of four World War I figures located at the four corners of Memorial Park Bridge. The figures were originally mounted on the old Memorial Bridge completed in 1927. They were reinstalled at each end of the new bridge when it was completed in December 1976. The four World War I figures represent the three branches of the military service of that day; this figure represents either the Doughboys (foot soldiers) or marines. Sculptor was reported as Gutzon Borglum or E. M. Viquesney. IAS files contain copy of dedication program from the old bridge, transcription of article from Town & Country (published by Palatka Daily News) 3 (Aug. 1964), and newspaper articles from Palatka Daily News, Sept. 11, 1979 and Jan. 16, 1991.
  • E. M. Viquesney
  • FL000479
  • Single figure -- soldier
  • Dedication Date: 1927
N. 1st Street and Reid Street
32177 Palatka
FL
USA
  • Administered by City of Palatka, 201 North 2nd Street, Palatka, Florida 32177 Located Memorial Park Bridge, Northeast side Palatka, Florida
  • Figure of a World War I infantryman holding a grenade in his upraised proper right hand
  • One of four World War I figures located at the four corners of Memorial Park Bridge. The figures were originally mounted on the old Memorial Bridge completed in 1927. They were reinstalled at each end of the new bridge when it was completed in December 1976. The four World War I figures represent the three branches of the military service of that day; this figure represents the Doughboys (foot soldiers). The sculptor was reported as Gutzon Borglum or E. M. Viquesney. IAS files contain copy of dedication program from the old bridge, transcription of article from Town & Country (published by Palatka Daily News) 3 (Aug. 1964), and newspaper articles from Palatka Daily News, Sept. 11, 1979 and Jan. 16, 1991.
  • E. M. Viquesney
  • FL000478
  • Single figure -- soldier
  • Dedication Date: 1927
N. 1st Street and Reid Street
32177 Palatka
FL
USA
  • Dedication Date: 1925
First Street & Pier A
07030 Hoboken
NJ
USA

This monument was erected in 1925 to commemorate Hoboken's role as the US Army Port of Embarkation during World War I, and honor the 3 million troops who passed through Hoboken's port. The monument contains a bronze tablet mounted to the face of a granite boulder. It was erected by the Hoboken Assembly, Fourth Degree, of the Knights of Columbus. 

The current plaque was fabricated in 1978 and paid for by Hudson County. The boulder originally sat on Pier 4 near River Street. It was moved to River Street near Pier B in 1976. In 2002-03, with the completion of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, it was moved to its present location at First Street & Pier A.

Narrative adapted from Hoboken Historical Museum website. 

Photo courtesy of: Hoboken Historical Museum

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Robert Shay, PH3, USNR-R, 1964-70
South 7th St. & South 8th St.
83861 Saint Maries
ID
USA

To quote the attached historic document, with photographs, in the photo gallery, “November 29, 1921, St. Maries had the honor of being host to Marshal 

Ferdinand Foch and his party from France on their tour of the United States.  Below he is seen shoveling the first concrete for piers beneath Legion 

Memorial Hall in St. Maries, the first such memorial in Idaho,  National Commander MacNider participated.”