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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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36th Division Memorial Park
76801 Brownwood
TX
USA

Brown County World War I Memorial

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque The Brown County World War I Memorial, honoring those who served, fought, and died in World War I, was placed at Brownwood High School in 1921 with funds raised by the Brownwood HS Class of 1921.  This was a sacred memorial to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War I, the Great War, the War to End All Wars. In 2016, the memorial was restored and moved to a new site in the 36th Division Memorial Park. The restored memorial included the old World War I Memorial along with a new granite tablet with the names of the 39 Brown County veterans who died in World War I, a new plaque with the wording from the old World War I Memorial that had become difficult to read, and another new plaque telling about the original World War I Memorial.  The profound words on the original World War I Memorial were these:                                                                               

To those men from Brown County
Who rendered valiant service in the world war;
Who feared not;
Who believed in the sacred principles
Upon which this republic is founded;
Who preferred death to slavery;
Who signified a willingness to give their lives
And to perpetuate democracy;
This monument is reverently dedicated.

164 S Main St
36010 Brundidge
AL
USA
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Gary Weitzel
  • Joseph P. Pollia
  • Bronze plaque: HONOR ROLL / CHARLES F.W. ALBRECHT JR. --- CHARLES M. HOERNING --- BERNARD RIPOLL / EDWARD M. ANDERSON --- WILLIAM R. HOLLER --- ARCHIBALD E. ROBBINS / CHARLES C. BAIRD --- JOHANNES A. JENSEN --- THOMAS R. ROBERTS / MORTIMER BENJAMIN --- GEORGE ELMER JOHNSON --- PAUL E. SALLAH / LOUIS J. BERGEN --- ALBERT A. JUSTIS --- ARTHUR A. SCHNORR / GEORGE B. BURLING, JR. --- HARRY LERCH, JR. --- FRANK L. SCHWEITHELM / ROBERT J. BURTIS --- LEWIS LICHTENSTEIN --- JOSEPH SHERIDAN / EDWARD CATER --- FRED LIPPERT --- FRED H. SHIRE / FREDERICK A. CLARK --- DANIEL C. MCCAULEY --- JOHN A. SMITH / HAROLD J. COKELEY --- FRANK J. MCCONNELL --- ARTHUR J. STRUCK / GEORGE M. COLEMAN / FRANK J. MENNINGER --- STEPHEN T. SULLIVAN / CHARLES F. COOK --- JOHN S. MERTZ --- FRED. W. SUNDERMIER / ALFRED NELSON DOW --- FRANK A. MEYER --- ADAM H. SUTTMEIER / JOSEPH DUNKEL --- FINLAY W. MILLAR --- JOHN TALLARIO / MARIO FERRARA --- CUTHBERT C. MURPHY --- DOMINICK TRAPASSO / CHARLES F. GAUS --- FRED WM. NEUMEYER --- CHARLES L. TRINKARD / DAVID E. GLADD --- GEORGE R. NICHOLSON --- JOHN F. VERMAELEN / ROBERT GRAY, JR. --- BERTRAM S. NOBLE --- CHARLES VOGT / EUGENE A. GRIFFITH --- LESTER W. OGILVIE --- LAWRENCE J. WHALEN / GEORGE B. HALL --- GEORGE F. PETTIT --- GEORGE A. WEBER / JOSEPH HARTEL, JR. --- LOUIS PINE --- WILLIAM A. WILLIAMS / WILLIAM F. HAUSMANN --- ANDREW J. PROVOST, JR. --- HARRY J. WITTMAN / JEROME HEINE --- FRED. E. REIF --- CHARLES WORTH / WILLIAM A. RIEHL --- PETER A. ZEIS /
  • Dedication Date: 1925
Forest Park
11418 Queens
NY
USA

In 1923 plans were drawn up for a memorial at the Myrtle Avenue entrance to Forest Park’s main thoroughfare, signifying a new “Memorial Drive,” and 70 pine trees were planted to commemorate those from the neighboring community who died in combat during World War I. This monument, including a sculpture of a soldier, an ornamental flagstaff and bronze honor rolls, honors their valor and sacrifice. A gift of the Richmond Hill War Memorial Committee and the Gold Star Mothers Association of Richmond Hill, the monument was dedicated on November 10, 1925. 

The sculpture by Joseph Pollia (1893-1954) represents a standard infantryman known as a “doughboy.” This name is commonly attributed to the rudimentary biscuits consumed by troops, though derivation of the term doughboy remains in question. It was first used by the British in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to describe soldiers and sailors. In the United States, the nickname was coined during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), and was widely popularized during World War I (1914-1918) to refer to infantrymen. After the war, in which Americans saw combat in 1917-18, numerous communities commissioned doughboy statues to honor the local war heroes.

The Richmond Hill War Memorial is one of nine such doughboy statues erected in New York City’s parks. Pollia’s conception depicts a mournful soldier whose head is bowed in contemplation, his rifle and helmet slung over his right arm. Some observers have noted the resemblance of the subject to silent film star Francis X. Bushman, whom Pollia may have used as a model for the statue. The sculpture has also been referred to as My Buddy.

The monument was designed by William Van Alen (1882-1954), who is best known as the architect of Manhattan’s famed Chrysler Building. Italian-born sculptor Pollia was responsible for nearly two dozen public monuments, and also sculpted in 1936 the statue of General Sheridan in Christopher Park in Manhattan. Pollia sold a second cast of My Buddy to the Storm Lake Service Star Legion in Storm Lake, Iowa, and it was installed in that city’s Chautauqua Park in 1926.

The adjoining flagstaff, dedicated in 1926, includes a pedestal of granite with ornamental bronze elements including decorative waves, garlands and acanthus leaves, as well as ram’s heads. In 1987 the adjacent oval plaza was dedicated to Sergeant Joseph E. Schaefer (1918-1987), a resident of Richmond Hill who distinguished himself in World War II, and in 2001 the City restored the Richmond Hill War Memorial and flagstaff. 

At the dedication ceremony in 1925, Queens Parks Commissioner Albert C. Benninger accepted the memorial on behalf of the City, and the sculpture was unveiled by Mrs. Mathilda Burling, President of the Richmond Hill Mothers Association. The proceedings were disrupted by a rain storm, and were transferred to a nearby auditorium. The chief speaker, United States Senator Royal S. Copeland used the occasion to comment on a proposed government takeover of the coal industry, and commented, “Someone has said that the purpose of government is to protect property…I believe that the people in general hold that the purpose of government should be to protect humanity.” Several generations later, the Richmond Hill War Memorial still stands as a tangible reminder of those who fought in defense of this principle.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: The Wanderer
McPhelemy Park
81211 Buena Vista
CO
USA

This small memorial is located in Mc Phelemy Park in Buena Vista, Colorado. The memorial consists of an obelisk with the names of the fallen engraved on the base.

3816 Caroline St
77004 Houston
TX
USA

Buffalo Soldier World War I Memorial

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque The Buffalo Soldier Museum in Houston is dedicated to displaying and exploring the stories and contributions of African-American soldiers in the U.S. military.  On November 10, 2018, this World War I centennial memorial to the Texas and Houston African-American soldiers who served in the Great War was unveiled, a long overdue tribute to the men and women who served in combat and labour to defend the freedoms abroad that they did not enjoy at home.

  • Dedication Date: 1936
219 N. Prairie St.
36089 Union Springs
AL
USA
"In Memory of Bullock County World War Soldiers, Erected by American Mothers of National Defenders Chapter, Service Star Legion, 1917-18, Dedicated 1936."
Burke County Courthouse
30830 Waynesboro
GA
USA
The tablet at the county courthouse is inscribed, “This tablet is placed to perpetuate the memory of Burke County (Ga) men who, in the service of their country in the World War, lost their lives in the sinking of the S.S. OTRANTO, October 6th 1918.”  The names of seven local victims are listed.
602 North Liberty Street
30830 Waynesboro
GA
USA
Burke County Courthouse in Waynesboro, Georgia is a Carpenter Romanesque building completed in 1857. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

At the entrance of this courthouse is a plaque in memory of those from this community that lost their lives in the S.S. Otranto sinking, October 6, 1918.
101 1st St E
58737 Flaxton
ND
USA

Flaxton World War I Memorial Hall

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque The Burke County World War I Memorial Building, known in the county as Flaxton Memorial Hall, was  It was constructed to honor and commemorate the Burke County veterans of World War I.  Built in 1931 in the Art Deco style, it was designed to accommodate all aspects of the rural existence: educational, recreational, civic, cultural, and political functions, and over the years has been utilized for athletic events, political events, social events, weddings, funerals, dramatic presentations, concerts, and movies that were shown on weekends. The Flaxton WWI Memorial Hall is one of only seven remaining buildings in North Dakota constructed as living memorials to the historic sacrifices of those who served in the greatest war the world had seen up to that date and to house government offices and community events. These World War I commemorative structures share the archetypal quality of strength and resolve portrayed by the architects and builders to reflect the public sentiment of reflection on the war, but only Flaxton’s Hall remains preserved, renovated but not remodeled, and continuously in service as a city government office and meeting center in the Northwest Quadrant of the state. 

585 Milwaukee Avenue
53105 Burlington
WI
USA

This monument is dedicated to all veterans who served their country faithfully in wars and other conflicts. There is a separate plaque for Burlington residents who served during World War I.

  • Eagle on ball on triangular shaft on plinth; small tablet on ground with dedication date
  • Piccirilli Brothers
  • Single figure -- animal
  • American Legion
  • Dedication Date: December 5, 1920
  • December 5, 1920
  • Other Measurements: Eagle H:1'2
  • Width: 7'
Metropolitan Ave
11211 New York
NY
USA

1) THIS MEMORIAL / RECORDS THE / PATRIOTISM / AND DEVOTION / OF THE MEN
OF / THE 13TH ASSEMBLY / DISTRICT WHO / SERVED THE / UNITED STATES/
IN THE WORLD / WAR / 1917-1918

2)/ [Honor Rolls]

3) Tablet:: ": DEC / 5 / 1920" [sealed box beneath tablet]

 

Architect: Presbrey, Leland Co.

  • Doughboy figure with integral plinth, on pedestal, tablet set in ground at proper right
  • Pietro Montana
  • Single figure -- soldier
  • Bushwick-Ridgewood Citizens
  • Dedication Date: November 20, 1921
  • November 20, 1921
  • Other Measurements: Pedestal H:5' W:2'8
1424 Myrtle Ave
11237 Brooklyn
NY
USA

1) pedestal, front: "TO THE MEMORY / OF THE / BUSHWICK-RIDGEWOOD / BOYS WHO SERVED / IN THE WORLD WAR / 1917-1918"

2) tablet: "NOV. / 11 / 1920"

 

Architect: Giles Greene Pollard

200 Grand Ave
94610 Oakland
CA
USA

Veterans Memorial Building, Albany, CA; Alameda County, GSA-Building Maintenance, 1401 Lakeside Or., 10th Floor, Oak¬land, CA 94612; Outdoors. Free.
At the south entrance of the building is a concrete bust of a sol¬dier, high on the wall of the building in an ornately decorated niche. The soldier wears a uniform and helmet. It was placed here in 1931. when the building was constructed, to honor the veterans of WWI.

1325 Portland Ave
94706 Albany
CA
USA

At the south entrance of the building is a concrete bust of a soldier, high on the wall of the building in an ornately decorated niche. The soldier wears a uniform and a helmet.  It was placed here in 1931, when the building was constructed to honor the veterans of World War I.

700 Court Square
36037 Greenville
AL
USA
  • Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
  • Dedication Date: November, 2011
East 3rd and Dempsey Avenue
30233 Jackson
GA
USA

City memorial park consisting of inscribed black granite.  Names of service members who died in service are inscribed on main tablets.  Eight names from WW1 are listed here.  Names and information of others that served are inscribed on adjacent tablets.  

Inscription:  “All Gave Some, Some Gave All….In This Hallowed Place We Remember The Sons and Daughters of Butts County Who Died So That Liberty Might Live”

1800 Cabrillo National Monument Dr
92106-3601 San Diego
CA
USA

This park became a national monument in 1913 and the primary focus is on the explorations of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo in 1542. It became important as a coastal defense site for WWI and WWII, and several remnants of defense facilities can be visited here. On the ocean side off Gatchell Road are two Panama mounts which held WWl vintage 155 mm guns that could track and shoot at a moving ship, or be turned toward Mexico in case the Japanese were to attack from that direction.

Also open are a base line station used in determining the range and position of the enemy for directing artillery fire, and a 60" search ­light installation, where the light rose out of a concrete bunker when needed. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse, built in 1854-55 and used for storage and as a radio tower during WWII, has been retored.

Fort Rosecrans was located here on Point Loma during WWI and WWII, and in November of 1999 a museum exhibit was opened to the public, portraying the stories of the soldiers stationed here. It is located in a small three-room building erected in 1916 as the Army Radio and Meteorological Station. Visitors can see film clips of the coastal defense guns being fired, personal memorabilia, a 16-inch shell, and displays explaining the operation of the guns. On site is a library collection of 2,000 volumes relating to the history of the site.

110 SW 2nd ST
73005 Anadarko
OK
USA

Caddo County Veterans Memorial

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque This iconic 1922 Doughboy statue - originally dedicated to honor the 48 Caddo County men killed during World War I -  has been recently restored and now includes the names of those fallen or MIA  in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and post 9-11.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: thewanderer
71101 Shreveport
LA
USA

This memorial is located in downtown Shreveport, Louisiana in front of the Chamber of Commerce. It is dedicated to the soldiers from Shreveport who died during the Great War.

  • Dedication Date: November 11, 1921
925 Quintard Ave (median)
36201 Anniston
AL
USA

On a river rock base sits a bronze sculpture dedicated on Armistice Day 1921.  The eagle was added 4 years later.  The sculptor is unknown.  On the south face is a plaque dedicated to the soldiers and sailors from Calhoun County who served in the Great War, and on the north face is an honor roll of the 41 names. The south face inscription reads: "This Tablet is Erected in Honor of the Soldiers and Sailors from Calhoun County Alabama who Served in the Great War 1917-1919".  The north face inscription reads: "Better the shot, the blade, the bowl, than crucifixion of the soul."  [from the Maryland state song "Maryland My Maryland" by James Ryder Randall].  Forty-one names are listed.

A lower plaque reads: "In 1921, Calhoun County memorialized its casualties of World War I
with this monument, unveiled on Armistice Day, as a proud testament to the bravery of these men.
Nearly a hundred years later, in 2014, military research conducted by The Anniston Star's editorial board discovered at least nineteen additional U.S. military personnel whose names, for reasons unknown, were not included on the original plaque. In 2016, the City of Anniston erected this memorial, providing these nineteen Calhoun County casualties of the Great War their deserved place of honor. Nineteen names are listed.