World 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.
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.
This memorial is part of the US Armed Forces Legacy Park, which honors veterans from every US war. The park also contains a plaque wall listing names of servicemembers from WWI as well as the Civil War, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The Armistice Bridge was rebuilt in 2006 replacing the crumbling Memorial Bridge that was built-in 1921 and dedicated in honor of the sons of Waldo County who died in World War I . The 1921 Memorial Bridge was the largest memorial to World War I veterans in its time. The plaque reads: "THIS BRIDGE IS DEDICATED IN HONOR AND MEMORY OF THE SONS OF WALDO COUNTY WHO DIED IN THE GREAT WORLD WAR" 1914 - 1918 Then lists the fifty five men there after.
The memorial is located inside Hamburg City Park.
A pedestrian plaza along the eastern side of the Clarke County Courthouse on Washington Street in downtown Athens, dedicated to the veterans of all wars.
The historic cemetery on the National Register of Historic Places includes numerous monuments of the World War I era, including a World War I memorial erected in 1925.
“This Memorial is Dedicated to the Honor and Memory of the Veterans of the United States of American from Atkinson County, Georgia. Their Valor an Sacrifice has allowed us our freedom. Many Gave Their Last Full Measure to Insure Peace and Preserve the Rights We Rely Upon. We Must Not Forget.”
It is inscribed with the names of three WW1 soldiers.
East Morningside Drive at Rock Springs Rd.
1662 Rugby Avenue
Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
G.M.A. World War Heroes
Whose Fidelity to Duty
Honor and Country was
Only Commensurate with the
Supreme Sacrifice they Made
Dulce et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori
“It is sweet and glorious to die for one’s country"
The Grove runs several blocks in the median of Central Avenue from Troup Street to Monte Sano Avenue, and includes a marker commemorating Augusta residents who fell during World War I.
American Gold Star Mother Tribute, Greene at 11th Streets, Augusta
“In Sacred memory of the Men of Richmond County Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice - World War 1”
“Erected By Woodlawn Camp No. 55 Woodman of the World”
This World War I Memorial in the Greene Street median in downtown Augusta pays honors to veterans of The Great War with the following inscription:
"The men of Richmond County, of every creed and color, who served at their country's call that aggression and lawless force should not dominate the world."
The reverse side of the monument says: What stands if freedom fall? - Kipling 1914
The tall, slender obelisk topped by a figure of an eagle was erected in 1940 by the Richmond County Association.
The "Ivy Division" is a unit with a proud history dating to World War I. In December 1941, the 4th was the first unit assigned to Camp (now Fort) Gordon after its move to Augusta from DeKalb County. The monument lists the many battles in which the soldiers of the 4th distinguished themselves, including:
On May 30, 1922, the Austin Reedy Post 97 of the Montana American Legion dedicated a WWl Memorial Statue. It was in honor of the men who died during service in WWl. Austin Reedy was the first war casualty. Some of these men did not die in battle, but were members of the Armed Services at during WWl. All men were from what is now Lincoln County Montana. Libby is the County Seat. The Statue is on the corner of Mineral Ave. and Lincoln Blvd. Since it's dedication it has been a rallying point for parades, speeches and community events. All soldiers originally met at the monument on Decoration (Memorial ) Day and marched to the Cemetery for Remembrance Services.
131 N Court St
3300 N Grandview Dr
September 10, 1919
Photo courtesy of Phil Luciano / Journal Star
This memorial consists of a 25-foot-tall Greco-Roman column with a bronze eagle on top. The column's base contains four bronze plaques listing the names of WW1 servicemembers. For more information about the history and upkeep of the memorial, visit the "101 Things That Play in Peoria" website linked above.
The bridge was Federal Aid Project 201; begun in 1922 by the State Highway Department with W.R. Neel as State Engineer; Prayton, Howton, and Wood Contracting Company; and the Pensacola Shipbuilding Company as builders. These contractors gave up after experiencing difficulty establishing permanent foundations. The bridge was completed by the Hardaway Contracting Company and the Atlantic Bridge Company in 1926. It was torn down ca. 1976-1977, and a new bridge was constructed in its place.
The only known memorial to World War I African-American troops from Georgia. The Atlanta Constitution (Jan. 18, 1920) reported it to be the first monument to "colored" citizen-soldiers.
3220 The Alameda
The War Memorial, located at 101 North Gay Street, Baltimore, MD, honors and serves all veterans of Maryland. The building serves as a place of remembrance for fallen soldiers and as an administrative office for veteran’s outreach organizations. The War Memorial Commission was created under both State and City law to operate the War Memorial building. The Commission has custody and supervision of the War Memorial Building and the War Memorial Plaza.
Corner of GA HWY 51 (Historic Homer Highway) and Yonah Homer Road
Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
Memorial Park adjacent to old Banks County Courthouse. Plaque inscribed with names from WW1, WW2, and Korea. With Eternal Flame.