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.
Unveiled May 21, 1919, this soldiers monument was erected in Fairburn (Campbell County), in the middle of West Broad Street, to honor those who had died in World War I. The monument was moved to the Holly Hill Memorial Park Cemetery in 1967.
Inscription: A.E.F. World War Veterans 1917-1919 (no local servicemen died in combat during WW1)
The four sides of the monument are inscribed with an acknowledgement and names of those who died in conflict from the Civil War through Afghanistan.
1620 Riverside Avenue
December 25, 1924
Charles Adrian Pillars
A sculpture in which six youthful figures appear to be emerging from a swirling globe-shaped mass. The figures are nude and are positioned on a diagonal encircling the globe. Atop the globe is a standing male nude with wings. His proper left arm is stretched out to the side. His proper right arm is stretched up above his head and he holds a branch in his proper right hand. He wears a wreath on his head and is sleek and youthful. The sculpture is in the center of a polygonal concrete basin with spiral ridges converging in the center. Two steps lead from the concrete and brick plaza to the basin.
Inscription: (On basin, on plaque:) In memoriam/Dedicated to the citizens of Florida/Who made the supreme sacrifice in the World War/1914-1918 (On another plaque:) Hereon reposes an/Indelible record of the/Twelve hundred and twenty/Names of those to whom/This memorial/Was reverently dedicated/On Christmas Day 1924 (On another plaque:) Completed and conveyed/To the city of Jacksonville, Florida/AD 1924 (On another plaque:) Erected in gratitude/By the citizens of Duval County, Florida
(According to waymarking.com, the plaque regarding dedication on Christmas Day has been replaced with one that reads: Spiritualized Life/Symbolized by the winged figure of youth/Rises triumphant from the swirl of war's chaos which engulfs humanity/and faces the future courageously)
Located in Mount Hope Cemetery.
This memorial monument is dedicated to the fallen servicemembers of Flathead County from the Spanish-American War to the present day. It is located near the old Kalispell railroad depot, in what is now called Depot Park.
Oakwood Cemetery, off of Hatch Blvd
700 19th St (VA Hospital)
Erected by the Mortimer H. Jordan Chapter of the Rainbow Division Association.
Front: (Names of 590 men are listed in 9 columns.)
32nd Red Arrow Division
After American entry into World War I in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson ordered all of Michigan's National Guard to Camp Grayling. Eight thousand of these troops then went to Texas where they joined Wisconsin soldiers to form the 32nd Division. Arriving in France in 1918 the division earned the name "Red Arrow" for its swift assaults through German lines. During World War II the 32nd Red Arrow Division fought courageously in the Pacific Theatre and received a commendation from General Douglas MacArthur.
Inside the 5th Regiment Armory in Baltimore is a Maryland Museum of Military History. Although the armory is usually closed to visitors, the building's facade is home to a number of WW1 memorials.
Veterans Park Drive
This 75mm field gun is a modification of a French gun that was designed in 1917. The 75mm was the most effective light field gun in W.W.I. It was also used against infantry, tanks, and other armored targets in W.W.II.
This gun is 17'-3" long, and weights 3,400lbs. Its range was 13,870 yards, and fired 6 rounds per minute. The 75mm shell weighed 19lbs., and could be fixed, high-explosive, chemical, smoke, or armor-piercing.
The 105mm has now replaced the 75mm gun as the light artillery weapon.
Camp Sheridan site, 3 Johnson Ave.
"The 9th Infantry Division was organized on 18 July 1918 at Camp Sheridan for service in World War I. When the War ended, 11 November 1918, deployment of the Division to France was canceled and it was demobilized of 15 February 1919." -Alabama Historical Association marker, 1993.
A monument dedicated to A Bartlett King 107th Engineers 32nd Division who died in France October 7th 1918. He was the former leader of Boy Scout Troop No.1 in Marquette MI. This monument was built by the Boy Scout Troop on Sugarloaf Mountain near Marquette MI. A short .5 mile hike up to the Sugarloaf Mountain look out also yields great views of the Lake Superior shore line and Marquette MO.
There are 2 trails one easier with steps and one more difficult. The trail head is located off County Road 550. About 3 miles north of Marquette.
"I've attached the pic associated with the World War One Memorial at Ada, Minnesota. Since it's dedication (date unknown) other sides of the base have had plaques added listing the fatalities from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam."
-Mr. Johannes R. Allert, M.A., CTL
Near 524 Berne St
July 28, 2002
Aviator Park, Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 20th Street
Photo and description courtesy of the Association for Public Art
This bronze "celestial sphere" is dedicated to the aviators who died during World War 1. It also illustrates the signs of the zodiac and is inscribed with the Latin names of the constellations and planets. The sculpture is located opposite the main entrance of the Franklin Institute.
209 2nd St., NW aitkin MN
In Memory Of
17th St & Quintard Ave
100 Overton Access Rd.
Alabama Department of Archives and History, 624 Washington Ave.
November 11, 1940