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unnamed 103American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan (right) visited the maquette of the sculpture design for the new National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC, during the American legion meeting in Washington, DC last week. Betsy Anderson, Volunteer Director for the U.S. World War Centennial Commission staff (left) gave Rohan a detailed update on the memorial's progress.

WW1CC and the Memorial maquette on hand for the American Legion's big week in DC 

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission

Last week was a big one for our Commission member organizations, the American Legion. Over 200 members of their national leadership were in Washington, DC for their annual Winter Conference at the Washington Hilton, with such featured speakers as Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin. Following several days of meetings, the Legion leadership conducted their massive annual 'Storm The Hill' outreach effort to members of Senate and Congress.

In the midst of it all, the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission was there, telling the story of our programs, including the new National World War I Memorial for Washington DC. The Legion invited us to set up the scale-model maquette created by our sculptor Sabin Howard, and recently featured on television's FOX & FRIENDS.

The maquette was set up in the conference lobby by WW1CC's project manager Dale Archer, and memorial designer Joseph Weishaar. During the conference, a team of volunteers, led by WW1CC Volunteer Director Betsy Anderson, were at the site during the Legion conference, handing out literature, and discussing our efforts with Legion leaders from all over the United States.

The maquette display and the volunteer interchanges were a big success. Hundreds of Legion members came by the display to hear about the Centennial Commission, and to offer their help in getting the word out.

In addition, WW1CC Volunteer Tom Johnson was hosted for a live-to-Twitter interview with the Director of Media Relations for American Legion Headquarters, Joseph Plenzler.

To cap things off, the American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan came by the maquette display, to show her support. Betsy Anderson gave her a detailed update on the memorial's progress. Long a proponent of the Centennial Commission, National Commander Rohan was one of the featured guests at our memorial's ceremonial groundbreaking in November.

The WW1CC is currently putting together a schedule to show the maquette around the country. For information -- and to get a look at the maquette -- go to

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