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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.

Submitting a Monument or Memorial for the Database

This interactive database provides location and all other available information on known World War One monuments and memorials.  Do you know of a World War One Monument or Memorial that is not listed in our database? Do you see incorrect information listed for one of the sites? Do you have photos of one of our listed sites that you want to contribute? Click here to submit the relevant information for inclusion in the database.

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305 Grande Ave SW
Fort Payne
AL
USA
35967
 

Doughboy - Cliffside Park

          
Memorial Park, Edgewater Road & Palisade Avenue
Cliffside Park
NJ
USA
07010

This monument commemorates the soldiers from Cliffside Park, NJ who served in World War I.  It was dedicated on Decoration Day 1929. 

The bronze sculpture depicts a WWI soldier leaning on his left foot. He is wearing his uniform, ragged on both arms, a helmet and carrying a rifle on his left shoulder. His left hand is holding the rife strap, his right hand is hooked to the ammunition belt hanging around his hips.  Both of his legs are wrapped in bandages. He is wearing a gas mask on his chest & a canteen on his right hip. 

On February 12, 1950, the monument was rededicated and a new plaque was added to include the names of the soldiers who gave their lives in WWII. The new plaque, made of polished labradorite, covers the original inscription on the stone base. 

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000379.

Photos courtesy of: Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) 

 

Doughboy - Eatontown

          
Veterans Plaza, Wampum Park, Route 35 & West Street
Eatontown
NJ
USA
07724

1922

This World War I monument consists of an approx. 5' tall sculpture placed upon a square base about five' high.  A plaque with raised lettering on the front of the base indicates this was erected to honor the men of Eatontown who served in the war. 

The sculpture itself depicts a WWI doughboy at parade rest with his left foot forward.  The soldier clasps the barrel of a rifle with both hands. The butt of the rifle rests on the ground near his right foot.  He wears a wide-brimmed hat, a belted jacket and his pants are tucked into wrappings that cover both calves. There is a tree trunk behind his left leg.

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000434. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 

Doughboy - Haddon Township

          
Westmont Fire Company, 120 Haddon Avenue
Haddon Township
NJ
USA
08108

1920

Richard Walter Bock

The Haddon Township Doughboy is one of the iconic figures not designed by Visquesney. It was, instead, designed by sculptor Richard Walter Bock who had been born in Germany in 1865. In 1870, his family emigrated to Chicago where his father opened a cabinet making business. Bock began his art education in the United States but returned to his native country and France to complete his training.

Bock opened a sculpture studio in Chicago, designed sculptures for the World’s Fair Columbian Exposition, and gained notice by his interior bas-reliefs for the city’s Schiller Theatre designed by famed Chicago architect, Louis Sullivan. While working with Sullivan, Bock became acquainted with the architect’s draftsman, Frank Lloyd Wright. Bock became a friend of Wright’s and designed numerous sculptures for Wright buildings.

In 1928, Bock was selected as head of the Sculpture Department at the University of Oregon. He retired from the University in 1932, and died in 1949. In his memoirs, Bock described the Haddon Township commission:

Following the War, I had  a number of commissions commemorating that unhappy event. One was a very conventional statue made as a civic monument for Jersey City, New Jersey. It was a realistic charging soldier with a fixed bayonet, titled “Over the Top.”…In a small size, about four feet tall, it was widely copied for schools all over the county.”

One cast of his Jersey City sculpture is located in Haddon Township, Camden County. It includes a pedestal on which the 81 Township residents who served in the war are commemorated, The monument originally stood in front of Westmont School #1, located at the intersection of Haddon and Reeve Avenues. In 1961, the sculpture was moved to its present location, in front of the Westmont Firehouse on Haddon Avenue. The monument was dedicated in 1920.

Narrative adapted from Sandra White-Grear, “The Haddon Township Doughboy,” edited and added to by William Brahms, Haddon Township Historical Society, 2010.

Photos courtesy of:  Haddon Township Historical Society

 

Doughboy - Highland Park

          
Veterans Memorial Park, 609 Raritan Avenue
Highland Park
NJ
USA
08904

1921

This monument depicts a World War I soldier in uniform standing at parade rest. Both hands grasp the barrel of his rifle, the butt of which rests on the ground.

The monument was sponsored by Amos Wheatley and dedicated  to the veterans of World War I. It was rededicated in 1989 as part of a refurbishing project at Veterans' Memorial Park. The figure was knocked slightly off its original position by a collision with a tractor trailer truck.

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory NJ000048.

Photos courtesy of: Sheena Chi

 

Doughboy - Middletown

      
Church Street
Middletown
NJ
USA
07718

c.1930

This World War I monument consists of a life-size statue of a doughboy standing at attention in full uniform with the barrel of a rifle in his right hand and the butt of the rifle on the ground.  The figure is set upon a granite plinth, square in cross-section, with an angled top, resting on a rusticated granite slab. 

A bronze plaque mounted on the front of the plinth contains the names of local soldiers from Belford, Port Monmouth & New Monmouth, NJ who served in the war.  The monument sits on a low mound to heighten its prominence. 

Photo courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office 

 

Doughboy - Palisades Park

          
Police Station, Central & Broad
Palisades Park
NJ
USA
07650

This monument consists of a bronze WWI soldier in uniform holding a rifle in his left hand & a grenade in his right hand.  He wears a helmet, shirt, belt with packs, pants & boots.

It appears this statue was recently moved from its original granite base to the current polished black stone, 3-tiered base. 

The original bronze honor roll plaque has been restored and mounted on a separate, nearby stone pillar. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
Routes 33 & 526
Robbinsville
NJ
USA

In 1919, township resident and Civil War veteran John Yard donated the land for the 17-foot war memorial.  The statue itself is fabricated from concrete, one of four doughboys in the state that uses this material. He stands atop a 10-foot tall, square pedestal inscribed with the names of 15 men from the then Washington Township who served in World War I. (Later, the back side of the monument was inscribed to honor those who served in World War II.) The statue was unveiled on October 16, 1920. More than 1,000 people attended the event.

Narrative adapted from Cathy Zahn, "Nearly a Century Old, but Doughboy's Message of Patriotism is Timeless," Robbinsville Sun website.

Photo Credit:  Sheena Chi

 

Doughboy - Wanaque

      
Wanaque Borough Hall, 579 Ringwood Ave
Wanaque
NJ
USA
07465

1926

Gaetano Federici

This version of a doughboy was sculpted by Italian-American sculptor Gaetano Federici who emigrated to the United States and settled in Paterson.

The memorial consists of a statue of a World War I soldier mounted on a rectangular base. The base is flanked by four steles commemorating other wars. The soldier is painted bronze and stands with a rifle, butt end down in his left hand. At his side, he holds a grenade in his clenched right fist. The sculpture is mounted on a square base with a commemorative plaque on the front. It was originally dedicated on Memorial Day 1926 on the grounds of the community house in Midvale.

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000307.

Photo courtesy of: Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)

 
Danbury
CT
USA
06810
 

Doughboy Memorial

          
101 N. Orange Ave.
Eufaula
AL
USA
36027

January 11, 1925

Erected by the Service Star Legion Porter Doughtie Chapter.
 

Doughboy Memorial

      
 
1 Park St.
Headland
AL
USA
36345

June 17, 1926

 

Doughboy Monument

          
Astoria
OR
USA
97103
The Doughboy Monument is a large monument built to commemorate the soldiers who fought in The First World War. This monument is surrounded by grassy lawns and houses a public restroom. The monument was constructed in 1926.
 

Doughboy Statue

      
Boulder
CO
USA
80302
 

Doughboy WWI Monument - Highlands

          
Highland Avenue & Portland Road (Rt. 36 East)
Highlands
NJ
USA
07732

A World War I soldier stands at parade rest. Both hands clutch the barrel of his rifle, the butt of which rests on  the ground.  He wears a helmet, shirt, pants and boots and leans his right leg against a stump.  He stands atop a granite, multi-tiered base.  The front of the base contains a plaque honoring the veterans of Highlands.

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000175.

Photos courtesy of:
Full monument - Historic Markers Database
Detail - NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
210 Main Street
Boonton
NJ
USA
07005

Purchased 1921

Dr. John Taylor lived in this house and practiced medicine here. The Colonial Revival design of the house reflects a reaction against the ostentatious residences of the Victorian era.

The house was purchased by the Town of Boonton in 1921 as a memorial to World War I veterans. It served as the Town Hall until 1965 and is now the home of American Legion Post 124 and the Boonton Historical Society.

Narrative adapted from Morris County Heritage Commission website.

Image courtesy of: Dan Beards, Morris County Heritage Commission

 

Drew County Courthouse

      
200 S Main St, Monticello, AR 71655
Monticello
AR
USA
71655
No additional information at this time.
 

East Moriches WW 1 Memorial

          
516 Montauk Highway
East Moriches
NY
USA
11940
This World War 1 Memorial was dedicated in 1923. It is easily seen on Montauk Highway on South side ( eastbound ) ( It is in front of a medical building ) It list the name of Veterans.
 
1700 East Capitol Street SE
Washington
DC
USA
20003

1923

Kathryn Harris, designer

The Eastern High School Alumni flagstaff commemmorates seven former Eastern High students who were killed in the Spanish-American War and World War I. Paid for by alumni of the school, the flagstaff stands before the school's main entrance. It was in place when the school moved to this then-new building on March 1, 1923.

 
Eaton Rapids
MI
USA
48827

Eaton Rapids Community War Memorial

We dedicate this plaque
"To the ones who served"
in the
Spanish-American War
1898
World War I
1914-1918
World War II
1941-1945
The Korean Conflict
1950-1953
From Eaton Rapids and community
This plaque donated by the American Legion and V.F.W.

 
City Park - Corner of Highways 17 & 172
Bowman
GA
USA
30624

Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch

"Dedicated to the glory of God and all the veterans of the Bowman Community, more especially to these who have given their lives for our nation's cause".  
 
North Oliver Street
Elberton
GA
USA
30635

All photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch

Originally known as Service Star Legion Park, the area includes a Wilson tree, a Service Star monument, a World War I memorial, and oaks planted in memory of World War I soldiers.

From 1923 to 1984, this 1.8 acre tract was managed by the Service Star Legion of Elbert County.  It was originally donated in memory of LT Edmund Brewer Tate, III, killed in action in the Argonne forest battle on Oct. 12, 1918.   Since 1984, the renamed ‘Memorial Park” is managed by Elbert County.  It contains multiple markers honoring Elbert County dead from all U.S. wars.

 

Elkhart Doughboy

      
Elkhart
IL
USA
62634
Classy old carved limestone doughboy statue between two buildings in downtown Elkhart (one block long). Repaired a few year ago by the citizens of Elkhart.
 
2750 North Lakeview Avenue
Chicago
IL
USA
60614
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.elks.org/memorial/

July 14, 1926

The Elks Veterans Memorial is a tribute to the bravery, loyalty and dedication of the thousands of Elks who have fought and died for our country. It has been described as one of the most magnificent war memorials in the world, but with its monumental architecture and priceless art, the Memorial is more a symbol of peace and of the patriotism of the members of the Elks fraternity.

 
Ellijay
GA
USA
30540

All photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch

 

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