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100 Cities / 100 Memorials & Memorial Hunters Club

Blog postings about our program to support the identification, rescue and conservation of our Nations WW1 Memorials.

The 100 Cities / 100 Memorials Grant Application Evaluation Period Has Begun

At the end of World War I, thousands of war memorials of every size were built in local communities across the country.

Over the decades, exposure to the elements, neglect and even vandalism has befallen these national heritage treasures. We must act now – to restore both their physical beauty and our awareness of the men and women they memorialize.

To help motivate and support this restoration, the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program launched on July 15, 2016 with $200,000 in initial funding for a national matching grant challenge. The funds were provided by the World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library.

On July 15, 2017 the grant application period ended and all submission were received. This began a simple compliance process where co-program managers, Susan Mennenga for the PMML and Theo Mayer for the WW1CC reviewed each submission to ensure each contained all of the required components and elements outlined in the competition manual. For example, each qualifying project needed to have identified the owner of the memorial and received a written authorization from the owner to do the restoration or conservation. Other requirement include a plan with a scope, a budget and a schedule.

To evaluate the individual submissions an austere Review Committee has been assembled, each of whom are assigned a group of submissions to read, review and rate based on common evaluation rubric. The Review Committee will then make a recommendation to the program leadership on awarding that project a matching grant. Once completed in Mid-August, the entire Review Committee will meet so that all committee members have chance to be introduced to all the proposed projects.

We are very proud to present the following members on the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials Review Committee

  • US WWI Centennial Commissioner John Monahan - American Legion National Finance Commission and Treasurer of the American Legion Charities, Inc.
  • US WWI Commissioner Dr. Matthew Naylor - President and CEO of the the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City
  • CPT Lynn W. Rolf III - Director of Programs at Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
  • Joseph Weishaar - Architect in training and winning designer for the National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington DC
  • Eugene P. Hough - Executive Director of Saving Hallowed Ground
  • Dr. Mark Levitch - art historian at the National Gallery of Art, and founder/president of the World War I Memorial Inventory Project
  • Michael Knapp - Chief of Historical Services at the American Battle Monuments Commission
  • Donna L. Crisp - National Vice Chair, Commemorative Events, World War One Centennial/Treaty of Versailles for the Daughter of the American Revolution

We want to thank this austere group who have volunteered their precious time to help us review and evaluate the submissions.

But most of all we want to thank those who have undertaken these projects.

We acknowledge that participating in this program has required a lot of time, effort and dedication from each submitting team. The scope, quality, variety, and most of all the deeply held commitment that these submitting teams have demonstrated is wonderful and as you review them often humbling. We want to thank and congratulate every submitting team on the amazing projects that they have presented us with. 

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20 June 2017


WASHINGTON, DC: Great news - The 100 CITIES/100 MEMORIALS matching grant program has extended their submission deadline. The giveaway will now accept preservation project matching grant applications until July 10th, 2017. 

100 CITIES/100 MEMORIALS provides matching-funds for those who adopt & preserve local World War I memorials in their community. The grant program is managed by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission in Washington DC, and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library in Chicago. 100 Cities / 100 Memorials offers award grants for up to 100 local projects around the country. Details are here .

"The deadline was extended for a simple reason", Kenneth Clarke, President and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library explained. "We are in touch with a number of people who needed just a little more time to get their package in. We don't want to tell them "No", or say "Your World War I preservation project is not important to us. Those projects are absolutely important to us". 

Dan Dayton, Executive Director of the US WWI Centennial Commission, agreed. "This program is for local communities, to honor their local veterans. We want to be as inclusive as we possibly can. This program offers an opportunity for people across the country to meaningfully participate in the national World War I Centennial". 

100 Cities / 100 Memorials has drawn a great enthusiasm since it launched in July of 2016. The American Legion has endorsed it, at their national level, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars also became a supporting partner. The program has also yielded a great number of grant applicants. "Dozens, and dozens" Said Kenneth Clarke. "We are thrilled".

Dayton added "This deadline-extension opens the door for a few more project teams. If you had a local World War I memorial project underway, but missed the deadline, we want to hear about it! Fill out the form, and send it to us". 

For more information about the program go to

Information on the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission can be found at

Information about the Pritzker Military Museum and Library can be found at

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Congratulations! All applications are in. So what happens next?

Congratulations if you submitted a matching grant application!
Here is what happens next:

There is a very good guide to key dates on the website under
"Project Flow and Schedules"

1. Compliance Confirmation: We will be going through all the submissions to confirm that they are compliant with the program rules. IMPORTANT: If we find something that you forgot to submit or missed, we will contact you directly and you will have 10 days to resolve the issue. There is no "gotcha" intended. We want to help you succeed.

2. Publish all project: We are targeting to get this done by July 15th when we intend to publish all the submissions on the national WW1CC website.

3. Promote all project: We will start to promote ALL the submissions and project during the entire evaluation period. We want to give all your project some exposure through the 100C/100M blog, the website, our newsletter and our Podcast. This will go on through the whole summer and into the fall.

The grant awards will be announced on November 11, 1917.

Again - Thank you for participating and congratulations on you many fine projects. Check out the WW1 Poppy Program as a fund-raising activity. 

We will be contacting all the teams to help you tell the world about your project. Some of the stories we have already heard are AMAZING.

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Three New Project Profiles

There are three new 100 cities / 100 Memorials project worth noting: 

1. From California, the Santa Monica Open Air Theater Memorial Bronze Plaque being submitted by the Sons of American Legion Squadron 283 from the Pacific Palisades. The open air memorial theater at Santa Monica High School is dedicated to the soldiers "Who gave their lives for world liberty". The memorial was dedicated May 30, 1921 and is being refurbished to honor them.

2. From Tennessee's Madison County, To recognize the sacrifice of the men of Madison County who died in the war, the Surgical Dressings Workers of Jackson erected a Memorial Fountain on the Courthouse Square after the war. The date of the installation is unknown. Presumably it happened between 1919 and 1925, which was when the Jackson McClaran Chapter of the Red Cross closed. Originally, the fountain was topped by a sculpture representing an eternal flame or an urn, and it was located against the sidewalk in the northeast quadrant of City Court square. Today, the the column is topped by a flat a metal plaque.

3. From Pennsylvania's Montour County, when their WW1 Soldiers returned, the residents spared no expense in welcoming them home. Contributions of nearly $10,000 (in 1919 dollars) we donated by private citizens and a 4 day welcoming celebration was held in Danville. A granite tablet hols a bronze plaque on each of its four sides inscribe with the names of those who served - not just those who died honoring their community's service to the war.

Important Reminder

We want to remind you, especially if you are planning a project, that you need to submit your grant application before June 15, 2017. The submission instructions are here.

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Looking For a Few Good...

Volunteers Needed to help us implement the Memorial Hunters Club 

The 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program also includes the creation of a National Register of WW1 Memorials under the Memorial Hunter's Club. 

This program not only solicits public engagement in a crowdsource effort to find, identify, record and submit all WW1 Memorials in the USA, but it also seeks to gather the memorial lists from other existing resources including state, county and municipal organizations, historical societies, and institutes of learning that my have existing registers, Today, there is no comprehensive national register of this fading cultural American heritage and the Centennial of WW1 may be our last, best chance to compile this disappearing information. 

The public has responded and we are receiving many submission. Memorial Hunters - We love you!!!

In fact, the response to the program has outstripped our internal resources to manage and post all the results quickly.

This is why we are looking for a small team of volunteer. We need a few volunteers with some web or technology experience that we will train to verify, clean up the submissions, and post the memorials submitted to our national map system. We need some additional volunteers to solicit participation by local communities, schools, church groups, historical societies at the state, county and municipal levels, local veterans organizations, scout troop, universities and others, 

This work will archive the results for future generations to reference. We will put the results into the public domain for any individual, organization or institution to access, download and do with as they please. 

For example, if someone would like to make a wonderful mobile App, this will provide the foundation. If someone would like to travel the country and make 3D, 360 holographic records of the memorials, the core research will have been done. If a local community would like to post a small map of WW1 memorials on their regional web site, the will have a foundation to work from.

The project remembers our heritage, honors our veterans and creates a resource for future generations. And we need to do it NOW while there is national attention on WW1. If helping in this endeavor interests you, please contact

You are sure to learn a lot, and have a worthwhile and enriching experience.

Kind regards

Program Manager
100 Cities / 100 Memorials
For the US World War One Centennial Commission

Memorial Hunting is a great activity for the young, the not so young and especially as a guided experience with your youngsters!
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9 Weeks Left to Submit a Matching Grant Application for Restoring Your Local WW1 Memorial.

The grant application period is coming to a close. If you have a WW1 Memorial project, it is time to get the applications submitted. In order to help you prepare, a number of people have asked for a .pdf copy of the grant application itself to help them prepare their submittal.

We have posted that PDF in the Resources section of the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials web site.

Access it directly here, print out a copy and use it as a reference in preparing the application.

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Saving Hallowed Ground Memorial Tree Program

An Article by John Marks

On August 29, 1914, just months after the outbreak of what would come to be known as "The Great War," a memorial group in Adelaide, Australia planted an English Oak in the city's Creswell Gardens. This was the first "memorial tree" dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives serving in World War I. In the years that followed, memorial groups, veterans' organizations, and others planted memorial trees in communities throughout the United States and around the globe to honor the lives lost during the conflict. As the centennial anniversary of World War I approaches, Saving Hallowed Ground—a historic preservation and commemoration non-profit organization and an official commemorative partner of the National WWI Centennial Commission—has begun a renewed effort to plant memorial trees to commemorate the WWI era.

General John J. Pershing, Commander of the American Expeditionary Force on the Western Front during WWI, attended a tree planting in Philadelphia in September, 1919. (Photo Credit: Library Company of Philadelphia, World War One Graphics Collection).

Through our Memorial Tree Program, Saving Hallowed Ground offers communities an opportunity to honor the contributions of soldiers and citizens who served on small and large scales across the country and around the world during WWI. On September 11, 2016, Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, and Bateman-Gallagher American Legion Post #668 sponsored the first tree in this renewed program, planting a Swamp White Oak in the township's Veteran's Park. Since then, Saving Hallowed Ground has facilitated the planting of a dozen memorial trees in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and has plans for trees to be planted in South Carolina, Arkansas, and elsewhere. The Memorial Tree Program represents a unique opportunity for communities to engage deeply with their local history and to establish a powerful and lasting connection to the WWI era.

Saving Hallowed Ground Founder and President, Eugene Hough, speaking in his ‘doughboy’ uniform at the dedication of our first Memorial Tree in Radnor, Pennsylvania (Sept. 11, 2016)

Yet just as a colony of Aspen Trees relies on a single, interconnected system of roots, the success of Saving Hallowed Ground's Memorial Tree Program depends on developing and maintaining a strong and widespread network of partners and participants across the country.

"The planting of WWI Memorial Trees represents a unique opportunity for each community to share their stories and unique historical narratives," says Saving Hallowed Grounder Founder and President Eugene Hough. "These contributions and connections are essential for the growth and success of the Memorial Tree Program."

Each participating community will receive an official "Tree Tag," to be permanently installed at the planting site, that identifies the tree as part of the national Memorial Tree Program. These "Tree Tags" allow local sponsors to dedicate the tree to specific individuals, groups, or others who contributed to WWI in significant ways. Each tree planted as part of the program also gets included on a digital map, maintained by Saving Hallowed Ground, identifying the location and dedication of all the Memorial Trees planted with the program.

Communities interested in participating can contact Saving Hallowed Ground through our website to get the process started. Typically, organizations work with local nurseries, horticulture centers, or other entities to secure the donation of a tree to be planted. Once the tree has been obtained, local organizations simply need to provide Saving Hallowed Ground with some information about the tree's location and dedication and we can begin processing and creating their Tree Tag. There is a small sponsorship fee required to obtain the Tree Tag (starting at $110), but many local and national resources, including the 100 Cities/100 Memorials Program, exist to help defray costs.

Students prepare to participate in a Memorial Tree planting event in Wayne, PA (Nov. 11, 2016)

Finally, we encourage sponsoring groups and organizations to reach out to other entities in their community who might be interested in participating. Civic organizations, veterans groups, scouts, historical societies, and local governments have all been enthusiastic partners at previous plantings, and Saving Hallowed Ground is happy to assist you in identifying and recruiting potential partners. Some local sponsoring organizations decide to maximize the impact of their Memorial Tree planting by also participating in Saving Hallowed Ground's other programs. Through our Monument Education & Preservation Program and Follow The Flag Program, we can help engage local students and veterans in restoring WWI monuments or participating in flag folding ceremonies in conjunction with the tree planting. Through participation in these programs, these tree planting ceremonies can become sites for your community to gather together, share stories, and cooperate to commemorate the history of the of the World War I era.

For more information about the program, please visit our website at On our website you'll find the full participant guide, frequently asked questions, and the digital map of existing trees. You can find out more about the organization, our other programs, and contact information at

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Cape May County Herald: Woman Asks City’s Help Honoring World War I Veterans on Centennial

Our director of Communications, Chris Isleib, sent me a link to this article. It tells the story of a citizen in Cape May County who wants to refurbish the local WW1 memorial to commemorate the sacrifice of the local veterans who served a century ago.


We have $200,000 in matching grants available for project just like this... and there are less than 100 days left to submit grant applications via the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials Website.

We have resources, and a national spotlight for these projects, but we need your help to get the word out.

Thank you!

Theo Mayer & Susan Mennenga Program Managers: 100 Cities / 100 Memorials

By Al Campbell

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2017 12:03 pm | Updated: 12:10 pm, Fri Mar 10, 2017.

By Vince Conti

CAPE MAY – Kate Wyatt, speaking for the Greater Cape May Historical Society, asked Cape May City Council March 7 for support in helping the society celebrate the centennial of America's entry into World War I.
It was in 1917, after a Presidential election in which Woodrow Wilson, former New Jersey governor, ran as the candidate who had kept America out of the war, that Wilson responded to continued German attacks on American merchant vessels by taking the country into the stalemated European conflict. Wyatt said that the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, on a triangular island at the intersection of Columbia Avenue and Gurney Street, is "the only memorial" in Cape May County erected to commemorate the American servicemen lost in that war, as part of its "all wars" theme.
It was dedicated July 4, 1923. On behalf of the Historical Society, Wyatt requested city help in the efforts to mark this important anniversary. She requested that the city polish the large base plaques at the memorial making it easier for visitors to read the history they convey. She also asked that the city plant and maintain a red-white-and-blue garden theme at the base of the monument. Lastly, she asked that the city helps to ensure the presence of a speaker at the monument on Veterans Day. The Monument The obelisk, topped by an eagle with wings outstretched, displays metal plaques that honor veterans from each of the nation's wars starting with the Revolution.

Read the full article:

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