World 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.
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.
This is a bronze standing figure of Col. Raynal C. Bolling, an aviator in the American Expeditionary Force of World War I. The figure wears a WWI uniform and holds a cane in his right hand. Behind is a stele relief of two airplanes flying among clouds. Greenwich resident Bolling is credited with laying the foundation for the U.S. aerial warfare program in France, and died near Amiens on March 26, 1918. He was the first high ranking American officer to die in France. Bolling Air Force base near Washington, D.C. is named for the aviator. The sculptor of the Bolling monument, Edward Clark Potter, also created the lions outside the New York Public Library, the statue of General Henry Warner Slocum in Gettysburg and other monuments.
This bronze WWI doughboy is depicted as running with a rifle in his left hand, with his right hand raised. Beneath is a square base of granite blocks. It was sculpted by John Paulding and dedicated on July 4, 1921, honoring the three men of Bolton who died in service in WWI, and the total of 70 who served.
Here there are two monuments to the local veterans. The WWI Monument consists of a tall white stele flanked by two wings, all engraved with approximately 200 names of veterans. The Vietnam War Monument is a small upright slab, listing eight local citizens who served in the war.
Courthouse for Boone County, Arkansas.
This monument is a stone version of a E. M. Viquesney Doughboy. The engraving on the base reads:
TO THOSE WHO
A plaque on the rear of the cenotaph has an inscription that reads:
IN HONOR OF
THE MEN OF BOONE COUNTY
WHO SERVED OUR COUNTRY IN
THE WORLD WAR.
THESE MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE:
(followed by a list of names)
This Doughboy was dedicated November 11, 1938. For many years, the monument was left to deteriorate, but sometime, perhaps in 2005 or 2006, the statue and cenotaph were cleaned, and the statue's broken rifle, which had been missing everything in front of the left hand, was restored.
No additional information at this time.
This memorial park contains three monuments honoring the veterans and fallen servicemembers of Boundary County and one honoring the explorers who established the "first route of travel and trade across what is now the state of Idaho." The monuments honor veterans of all wars, including WW1. The park is located near the library, with its 100-foot flagpole making it hard to miss.
This gateway, in honor of Warren Robinson, Bowdoin class of 1910, was given by his wife. Robinson died in France while serving in WWI. This is one of two WWI memorials on the Bowdoin campus.
This large flagpole rests in an ornate bronze base, which sits atop a granite memorial. The monument is dedicated to the sons of Bowdoin who lost their lived in World War I, and the various sides of the granite monument are inscribed with an Honor Roll. The inscriptions are finished in gold paint. The monument is located on the main quad, directly in front of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.
Bowdoin College refurbished the monument in 2014, and added a much larger flag.
This memorial is dedicated to the servicemembers of Box Elder County "who sacrificed their lives in the cause of freedom and liberty in the great World Wars." The base of the soldier statue features three bronze plaques: one listing the names of the fallen in both World Wars, one listing the fallen from the conflicts since WW2, and one reading: Freedom Is Not Free: In Solemn Recognition Of The Sacrifices And Leadership Of The Men And Women Of Box Elder County Who Gave Their Lives To Preserve A Free Society, Built The Peace And Gave To Future Generations The Precious Gift Of Freedom.
The memorial is located in front of the Boyd County NE Courthouse
Named in memory of PVT William C.N. Boylen CD.L 101st Infantry 26th DIV A.E.F. killed at vaux. Chateau thierry second battle of the marine July 20, 1918
First Melrose man with the American Forces killed in action in the World War
This monument lists the names of the boys of St. Peters parish in Mt. Clemens, MI. that served their country in The Great War from 1917-1918.
World War I was a global war which took place primarily in Europe from 1914 to 1918. Over 40 million casualties resulted, including approximately 20 million military and civilian deaths. Over 60 million European soldiers were mobilized from 1914 to 1918.
World War I Monument/Joan of Arc (sculpture)
Is described as Full-length figure of Joan of Arc dressed in armor and standing in contrapposto (weight-bearing leg, proper right). She gazes towards sky. Proper right hand grips the pole of a flag or banner; proper left rests on the upper edge of a shield which is balanced upright, tip resting on the ground, behind bent proper left leg. Shield emblazoned with upright sword, pommel down, and crown, flanked by fleurs-de-lis. Figure wears a sword, belted to hips and slung behind legs. Between the feet, a spiked war club lies on the ground.
The statue is made from zinc or lead with a granite base.
Statue: approx. 8 x 2 x 2 ft. Base: approx. 8 1/2 x 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 ft.
An inscription of Deprato Foundry Co. unsigned Founder's mark appears. Other than that there is a bronze plaque (SE Side) which reads;
This Monument erected to perpetuate the memory of the boys of St. Peter’s Parish. Mount Clemens, Mich who served their country in the world war 1917-1918
(then listed are 178 names, of which 5 died and 8 were wounded)
This memorial stands right in the center of Main Street in Bradley, South Dakota.
The concrete base is about 4 feet high with a flagpole attached.
The inscription reads as follows:
Our Honor Roll
Dedicated by the Citizens of Bradley and Surrounding Area to Those of Their Number Who Offered Their Lives in the Great War of Nations 1914 -1918 and In Memory of Those Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice.
The inscription on this memorial reads:
In memory of those who served in World War I, Apr. 6, 1917 to Nov. 11, 1918
This is a plaque in a park dedicated to several war memorials. It honors those from Branch County, Michigan, who gave their lives in The World War for their country.There are several guns on display as well, demonstrating the various types of weaponry used throughout the years. One pair was dedicated in 1988, honoring those who served.
This monument honors the men of Braxton County who served in the First World War.
Adjacent to the Courthouse, this memorial honors all Breathitt Countians who served or paid the supreme sacrifice during World War I. During the war, Breathitt County attained national prominence by filling its quota of service men by volunteers. No men had to be drafted from Breathitt, the only county in the United States with this record.
The inscription reads:
World War I
April 6, 1917 - November 11, 1918
Dedicated to all Breathitt Countians who served “over there” in the “war to end all wars”. To all those who supported the war effort in any fashion and in memory of the following who gave their lives to make the world safe for democracy.
Marion Adkins · George Baker · George Brewer · Charley Campbell · Jesse Carpenter · Jesse Centers · John Dale · Garfield Deaton · James Fugate · Wm W Gillum · Jarrett Grigsby · Willie Grigsby · Roscoe Gross · Charles B. Hall · Edward Cuerrant Hargis · Robert W. Hill · Joel Lee · Curtis Linden · South McIntosh · James Noble · Willie Oney · Moore Riley · Price Roark · Fred Smith · Ashford Watts · Samuel Wells · Pearl G. Wireman · Linden Wyatt