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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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  • 1918
  • 1921
  • Dedication Date: 1921
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: thewanderer
22134 Quantico
VA
USA

Full-length bronze figure of a World War I United States Marine. He wears a uniform with hat and boots. In his hands he holds a gun horizontally across the front of his body. His gaze is directed to the left. The figure stands on a stone base resembling a pile of stones. The back stone rises behind the figure to knee height. The sculpture and base stand on a square pedestal of concrete covered with stucco.

The original sculpture, “Crusading for Right” by the French sculptor, Charles Raphael Peyre, was commissioned by U.S. Army General Pershing at the end of WWI. Pershing wanted the sculpture to commemorate the U.S. Army Doughboy. Peyre, who was not aware of the differences between the U.S. services, used a Marine Private as the model for the statue. He made the sculpture in full detail of the Marine – right down to the eagle, globe and anchor on the helmet.

Army Gen. Pershing was not happy with the finished design and declined the sculpture. Fortunately, Marine Gen Smedley Butler did like the sculpture. Gen. Butler took up a collection from Marines, purchased the original full scale sculpture and had it placed in front of the Headquarters Building (Butler Hall) on Marine Corps Base Quantico where the sculpture became known as "Iron Mike".

The statue was begun in 1918 and first exhibited at the Exposition des Beaux Arts of the Grand Palaise des Champs-Élysées, in Paris in May 1919. Marine Officers and Enlisted donated money to purchase the statue, and it was sited in front of the Base Headquarters, Building 1019, in Quantico, Virginia, some 75 miles from DC. Three tablets were erected in the memory of the officers and men of the 6th Machine Gun Battalion, 5th Regiment and 6th Regiment, United States Marines, "who gave their lives for their country in the World War in 1918" by the Thomas Roberts Reath, Marine Post No. 186, American Legion, on November 10, 1921. On December 8, 1921, the statue was dedicated.

Today, a replica of this statue stands in front of the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia. On that statue's base is the name "Iron Mike". The original statue remains in front of Butler Hall, home of the Marine Corps Training and Education Command.

Cullman County Courthouse
35055 Cullman
AL
USA
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Memorial Hunter: Mark Hilton
1544 Sportsman Lake Road NW
35055 Cullman
AL
USA

This stone monument formerly located at the Cullman County Courthouse is now part of the larger Cullman Veterans Memorial Park at Sportsman Lake Park. It lists the names of the servicemembers from Cullman County who gave their lives in service during WWI.

  • Materials (select all that apply): Brick
  • Dedication Date: 10/23/1922
  • Federation Interalliee des Anciens Combattants (FIDAC)
  • Culver Legion War Memorial
  • Culver Academy alumni who died in service
  • Current location of tablet not confirmed. Information and image from the 1924 dedication program for the Culver Legion War Memorial.
  • Bench

Nearly rectangular bronze plaque with decorative border (laurel leaves punctuated by flowers). Besides lettering, the plaque contains the logo of the FIDAC at top and of Culver Academy (bottom)

  • Materials (select all that apply): Glass
  • Dedication Date: 11/02/1924
  • Culver Legion (alumni association)
  • plaque in honor of those Culver academy students (unnamed) killed in the war from the Federation Interalliee des Anciens Combattants at the base of the staircase (presented and dated October 23, 1922).
  • Culver Academy alumni who died in service
  • Memorial building

The Legion War Memorial Building was a monumental structure with a monumental mission when it was completed and dedicated: to stand as a memorial to war veterans -- both alive and fallen -- from Culver's ranks. Famous for its Gold Star at the entrance and its classical, exquisite architecture, the memorial building, of course, still stands today. The site features an imposing three-floor memorial building with a Gold Star room, Gold Stars on exterior, and a plaque in honor of those Culver academy students (unnamed) killed in the war from the Federation Interalliee des Anciens Combattants at the base of the staircase (presented and dated October 23, 1922).

  • Dedication Date: November 02, 1924
  • American Legion post
  • Dedication Date: December 07, 1922
46511 Culver
IN
USA
Three Memorial Elms were planted for the three Culver Military Academy cadets who died in the First World War.  These were planted in a ceremony attended by General Pershing.
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: thewanderer
28301 Fayetteville
NC
USA

The Cumberland County World War I Memorial is shaped like a giant open book that stands about six feet tall and lists the names of the 17 Cumberland County soldiers who gave their lives for their country in World War I. It also includes the memorable poem "In Flanders Field." The text of the poem by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD is a fitting addition to this memorial. (McCrae also died in World War I of pneumonia.)

  • Photos Courtesy of Lamar Veatch
301 Veterans Memorial Boulevard
30040 Cumming
GA
USA
This memorial is located at 301 Veterans Memorial Boulevard, one block from City Square. Dedicated in May, 1992, by the City of Cumming, the memorial consists of individual pedestals to the different conflicts.  Each pedestal is topped with bronze replicas of appropriate historical artifacts of that war. 
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: The Wanderer
State St. and Locust St.
16833 Curwensville
PA
USA

This memorial was dedicated by the American Legion Auxiliary on June 14, 1925 and was rededicated after repair and refurbishing on May 3, 1988. The inscription reads:

This memorial is dedicated to the everlasting memory of the heros of all the wars who by their heroism and sacrifice have made the United States of America the foremost country of the world.

Erected in honor of the World War Veterans of Curwensville, Pennsylvania by the American Legion Auxiliary, John E. Sipes Post No. 505.

1927 -- Their names we lovingly inscribe -- 1918

[Followed by a listing of names]

Those who made the supreme sacrifice
Di Pasquali, Alfonzo • Ferguson, Robert • Haddon, Clair. • Pistilli, Mariano • Predellini, Ferdinando • Salvatore, Mingnoui • Sipes, Joshua Earl
In a righteous cause they have won immortal glory and have nobly served their nation in serving mankind.

  • Dedication Date: November 9, 1975
  • Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
75 Case Ave.
30752 Trenton
GA
USA

Description:  Brick monument inlaid with inscribed plaques, for WW1, WW2, Korean War, Vietnam War, Afghanistan and Iraq.  The WW1 portion contains the names of 4 Dade County residents who died in that war. 

Inscription:  For God and Country - In memory of veterans from Dade County who offered their lives that liberty, justice, freedom, and democracy might survive.  Erected by American Legion and Auxiliary Post 106. 

A granite marker on the site is inscribed:  Dade County Veterans Memorial Park - Dedicated April 26, 2002 - For Those Who Serve.   

Bayfront Park
33131 Miami
FL
USA

The Dade County War Memorial, by sculptor Edward Codere, was originally dedicated in Bayfront Park in 1943 with the names of eighty-seven individuals from Dade County who lost their lives during World War I. It was rededicated in 1946, with the addition of 553 names of those from Dade County who lost their lives in World War II. In November 1990, the memorial was rededicated following reconstruction due to vandalism.  The 11-foot 8-inch tall, 24-foot 6-inch wide painted stone wall is adorned in the center with bronze inscription plaques and a fluted column topped by an eagle. Quotes by Franklin D. Roosevelt and General MacArthur are inscribed on the sides.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: "It is far better to die on our feet than to live forever on our knees."

General MacArthur: "We shall win or we shall die."

  • Dedication Date: 1990
100 Court Sq
36360 Ozark
AL
USA
  • Dedication Date: 1949
Memorial Stadium, 100 W Dallas Ave
36701 Selma
AL
USA
Erected by American Legion Post 20 and V.F.W. Post 3016.
Old Live Oak Cemetery, 110 W Dallas Ave
36701 Selma
AL
USA
Erected by the Selma Memorial Association.
  • Dedication Date: November 11, 1929
New Live Oak Cemetery
36701 Selma
AL
USA
Erected by American Legion Selma Post No. 20. The bricks were added at a later date to memorialize the African Americans from Dallas County who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: The Wanderer
Deloss Dodds Way and San Jacinto Sts.
78712 Austin
TX
USA

In 1924, the football stadium at the University of Texas was first dedicated as a memorial to the nearly 200,000 Texans who served in WWI.

This memorial is made up of two parts -- a bronze statue of Democracy on a pedestal with a bronze plaque and a set of large bronze tablets behind her listing the names of all 5280 Texans (male and female) who died in military or national service during WWI.

The plaque in the base of the monument reads as follows:

To honor the memory of all the Texas men and women who lost their lives in the service of their country during the World War.

What we seek is the reign of law, based upon the consent of the governed and sustained by the organized opinion of mankind.
Woodrow Wilson

The memorial was re-dedicated in November 1977 to honor all veterans.

  • Dedication Date: 1921
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: thewanderer
27292 Lexington
NC
USA

This memorial consists of a bronze tablet mounted on a granite base that lists the names of the thirty-nine residents of Davidson County that died in or as a result of World War I. The monument includes the names of African American soldiers, although they are separated from the list of their white counterparts. Around the base of the memorial are several cannonballs.

As early as April 16, 1919, Davidson County wanted to commemorate the service and deaths of those citizens that had fought in WWI. They planned and raised funds for two celebrations, promising the leftover money to the memorial fund. Initial planning began in June of the same year with the meeting of a memorial committee and the idea of creating a memorial hospital. The second of the two planned celebrations never occurred, and the money raised was given to the memorial association. By October of 1921, the association had determined that the memorial would be a monument placed in Lexington Square, but the plan of the bronze tablet on granite marker was not finalized until December.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: The Wanderer
28 E. State St.
84025 Farmington
UT
USA

Of the many monuments dedicated throughout Utah, the most noted and probably the most frequently visited are the monuments in Memory Grove Park, along City Creek, in Salt Lake City. The Davis County Veterans Memorial is housed in the old Davis County Courthouse in Farmington, Utah. The building was built in 1931-1932 as an expansion of an older courthouse and space for a war memorial was incorporated into the building's expansion design. Included was a space for a stained glass window tribute to the county's veterans. The beautiful art work memorializes (in its inscription) veterans of the Civil War, the Black Hawk Indian Troubles, the Spanish American War and Philippines Insurrection and World War I. The stained glass scene depicts a victorious angel heralding the efforts of a sailor and soldier, who are holding the flag of the United States over the world. The memorial contains the inscription: THEY WHO SACRIFICE MOST LIVE LONGEST IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE.