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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

Geolocalisation bp
Calvert County Courthouse, 175 Main Street
20678 Prince Frederick

A cast bronze relief panel, approximately 6x4 feet, depicts an allegorical female figure of War, with arms resting on the corners of two inscribed tablets listing the 315 Calvert County WWI veterans.

Memorial Park
17821 Danville

World War I Monument - Danville

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque This granite memorial, unveiled during several days of commemoration from August 30-September 3, 1919, weighs nearly 41 tons and has bronze plaques on three sides that are inscribed with a Roll of Honor 1917-1919.  It is estimated that approximately 18,000 people attended the unveiling, presided over by Pennsylvania Governor William C. Sproul.  The monument was cleaned, refinished and rededicated on November 11, 2017.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: David Wold
Greenwich Ave at Arch St
06830 Greenwich

Dedicated in 1925, the Greenwich World War I Monument is a 50-foot obelisk that sits in a small park in front of the town’s Post Office. The obelisk has a multi-sided base bearing the dedications: 

[ south side ]
In Honor of
The Men and Women
Of Greenwich
Who Served In
The World War

[ east side ]
In Memory Of
Those Who Died
And an Inspiration
To All Who Follow

[ west side ]
Second Battle
Of The Marne
North Sea
St. Mihiel
Ypres Lys
Meuse Argonne

Grimes County Courthouse
77830 Anderson
  • Topped with a limestone eagle perched on a globe
  • James J. Egan
  • Column or pillar
  • Dedication Date: 1919
  • 1919
Monument Park
60631 Chicago
700 Summit Ave
19046 Jenkintown

World War I Monument - Jenkintown

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque This monument was erected in November of 1919 to celebrate the return of the men and women who served during WWI. The monument previously stood in front of the old Borough Hall location at the corner of West Avenue and Leedom Street. The original monument was a concrete pedestal with mounted mortar shells, and a bronze tablet of all the names of those who served. When Borough Hall was relocated to its current location at 700 Summit Avenue, the pedestal of the original monument was incapable of being moved and unfortunately was unable to be preserved. The bronze tablet was, however, placed on a large piece of granite instead, which is how the monument sits today. In honor of the 100th anniversary of WWI, the bronze plaque was refinished and the memorial was cleaned. This work was completed in time for Memorial Day 2018 celebrations. 

2311 Memorial Ave
24501 Lynchburg

Moved to this location in November 2021 (from E.C. Glass High School), this marker consists of a large bronze plaque mounted on a locally sourced greenstone monolith. It honors the 42 local men who died in World War I, and was erected in 1936 by the Lynchburg Chapter of the DAR..

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Richard Bareford
Memorial Park Drive
54612 Arcadia

Ron Wanek designed this life-sized brass statue of a uniformed WWI soldier. He wears high boots, an ammunition belt, helmet and backpack. The granite base is incised with a dedication to all who served in WWI. This memorial was donated by Karen and Todd Wanek, and the face of the doughboy is modeled after Arcadia native Otto Herbert, who served in France in 1917.  The monument was dedicated on May 30, 1993.

No visit to Wisconsin would be complete without a tour of the beautiful 54 acre Memorial Park and its unique tribute to veterans of all wars and conflicts located just 40 minutes North of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, in Arcadia, Wisconsin. It is the largest Memorial Park in the U.S., outside of Washington D.C. 

119 Myrtle St
06880 Westport

This bronze statue was dedicated on November 9, 1930 on Old Post Road and relocated here in 1987.  It is a bronze figure of a World War I soldier standing at ease.  It was sculpted by J. Clinton Shepherd to honor the enlisted men and nurses from Westport who served in World War I.  A bronze shield on the south face reads, “Dedicated to the citizens of Westport who served in the World War. Erected Nov. 11, 1930.”  Plaques on the west and east sides of the monument’s base list Westport residents who served in the conflict, with the west plaque honoring seven residents who were killed, and the east plaque honoring seven who served as nurses.

  • Dedication Date: 1927
Memorial Park, 3300 New Jersey Ave
08260 Wildwood

The World War I monument in Wildwood, NJ features the helmeted head and arms of a doughboy, holding the hilt of a sword, looking over the top a tall, rectangular, granite pillar.  The sword bisects a cross, with the words loyalty, courage, sacrifice and victory in each of the four quadrants.  The monument is “Wildwood’s Tribute to the glory of her sons, 1917-1918.”  Around the four sides of the flat, rectangular, marble base are the names of six significant WWI battles abroad. 

The sculptor of the doughboy is unknown; the granite pillar was completed by O. J. Hammell of Pleasantville, NJ. 

The monument was dedicated on May 26, 1927 by Senator William Bright.  “The Wildwoods” – Wildwood, North Wildwood & Wildwood Crest – sent 33 people to serve in the war.  Three died, including one woman.  The American Legion coordinated the dedication event, which included a parade through town honoring veterans and the new monument. 

The monument was erected prominently directly across the street from the Pennsylvania Railroad Station.  Being a shore community, thousands of tourists exited the train on this spot.  The train station is long gone today, and the monument’s park is now in front of senior housing complex. 

Narrative adapted from a history of Wildwood’s parks in The Sun.

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office 
Vintage photos courtesy of:  The Sun

Central Park
32789 Winter Park

This fountain was initially dedicated to the memory of the local citizens who served in World War I, and later the dedication was extended to veterans of all wars. In the center of the fountain is the Albin Polasek sculpture, Emily, which was presented to the city on March 11,1984.

Main St.
01921 West Boxford

The West Boxford Improvement Society dedicated this monu­ment in 1934 to honor those from Boxford who died in WWI. It con­sists of a stone boulder and bronze plaque featuring the image of a spread-winged eagle.

Northside Park
60187 Wheaton

World War I Obelisk

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaqueFive hundred men from the Wheaton area enlisted in World War I from 1917 through 1919, 13 of whom died in service. In 1922, a memorial consisting of two bronze plaques with the names of all 500 men was mounted on an obelisk and placed at the Warren L. Wheaton home at Roosevelt and Naperville roads. Five hundred ash trees were planted along Roosevelt Road leading up to the obelisk to create Wheaton’s Road of Remembrance.  When the road was widened in 1931, the trees were moved to various parks throughout the city, and a new obelisk was built at Northside Park and rededicated in November 1936.  Through time, the obelisk became worn and damaged by age.  Eventually, the original bronze plaques were reinstalled and the memorial was restored and rededicated on Veterans Day, November 11, 2017.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: thewanderer
  • Town of North Kingstown
  • Dedication Date: 1928
02852 North Kingstown

In the Wickford section of North Kingstown, there is an obelisk in the center of a small green at the corner of Main Street and Brown Street, known as Updike Park. This obelisk is a monument for the residents of North Kingstown who served in World War I.

The monument stands at least 20 ft tall, and has bronze plaques on each side at about eye level.

The plaque facing Brown Street (east) has the following text:

"Dedicated to those who answered their country's call to serve humanity in the World War 1917-1919 and in memory of those who died in that service...[list of names who probably died in service]...Erected by the Town of North Kingstown, 1928."

Each of the other three plaques has names under the military branch they served. The south and north plaques lists the honor roll of those who served in the Army, while the west plaque lists those who served in the Navy. At the base of the obelisk are brick sidewalks, many with names in them.

Center St and West Guy Avenue
62034 Glen Carbon

World War I Seaton/Trentaz Doughboy Statue

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque In 1919, two young Glen Carbon residents, Emil Trentaz and Harry J. Seaton, were killed in battle in France.  After their deaths a group of Glen Carbon residents decided to recognize the two soldiers with a statue in their honor.  This group held carnivals and dances to raise funds as well as soliciting individual and business donations to help pay for the commissioned artwork.  In November 1920, the Doughboy Statue was erected in Glen Carbon Cemetery to stand over the soldiers' graves.

Broadway and Third St.
45767 Matamoras

This is a life-size statue of a standing WWI soldier, made from limestone or sandstone. He is standing at attention with his rifle at his side, next to a tree trunk. It was dedicated in May of 1920, fi­nanced in part by pennies saved by the children who attended the school where the statue stood. It lists the names of 11 Matamoras cit­izens who were killed in WWI, and is surrounded by a wrought-iron fence.

3700 E. Yandell
79903 El Paso
Concordia Cemetery is a Texas State Historical Cemetery,  with over 60,000 people buried there.  In the Masonic Section of the cemetery is the Wolrd War I spire, erected in Memory of El Paso Masons who made the supreme sacrifice in World War 1917-1918. The names of the Mason's that died in WWI are engraved. There is also a Veteran interpretive sign in the main Veterans section of the cemetery that references Veterans buried in Concordia the War of 1812 to Desert Storm
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: The Wanderer
Georgia Ave. at W. Main St.
29841 North Augusta

The inscription on this marker, erected in 1933, reads:

World War I
1914 — 1918
Dedicated to the men
and women who served
in the great war which
was believed to be the
final war of human
liberty and the "war to
end all wars".

  • Other
  • 2,000
  • People of Middletwon area
  • Dedication Date: November 11, 1919
  • November 11, 1919
Cochran Square, W Main St and S Broad St
19709 Middletown

This monument was dedicated on November 11, 1919 in honor of those from Middleton who served in World War I and in memory of the four who died: Rupert M. Burstan; John Hoffecker; Jeremiah Jackson; and E. Davis Manlove.  The original eagle atop the monument shattered during restoration in 2007 and a new eagle was unveiled in its place in 2008.

Veterans Memorial Island Sanctuary
32963 Vero Beach

This statue, honoring World War I veterans on the Veterans Memorial Island Sanctuary, was installed in November 2021. The $29,000 monument, paid for through private contributions and local veterans organizations, features a bronze statue of a World War I doughboy carrying a Springfield 1903 rifle and bayonet. The statue was placed so the doughboy appears to look at the sanctuary's central walkway that honors local veterans who have died.