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.
Logan Circle, in front of Franklin Institute off of Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Photos and description courtesy of waymarking.com
The front of this vertical granite monument is adorned with an allegorical female figure representing "Justice" flanked by two groups of three African-American officers, soldiers and sailors representing those from Pennsylvania who served in American wars. The figure of Justice is dressed in long flowing robes and wears her hair pulled back and braided around her face. She stands on a low stepped platform holding up a small wreath in each hand to represent Honor and Reward. The African-American Servicemen are dressed in the uniforms of the various branches of the military. On the back of the monument four allegorical female figures, representing the principles for which wars are fought, flank a bronze tablet. On the proper left of the tablet stands "War" holding a shield and wearing a helmet. Next to her stands "Liberty" carrying a torch and wearing the headdress of the Statue of Liberty. On the proper right of the tablet stands "Peace" carrying a large palm frond. Next to her stands "Plenty" holding a filled cornucopia. The monument is topped with a bronze Torch of Life surrounded by four eagles.
This monument includes E. M. Viquesney's "Spirit of the American Doughboy" and "Spirit of the American Navy" statues and is located at the entrance to Fort Wayne's Memorial Park from Glasgow Avenue.
A large triangular stone is set in a narrow grass island at the South entrance/exit to Sutter Creek. This memorial to the men of Amador County was the original brass plaque placed on the stone. Later plaques were added to the stone commemorating those lost in later foreign wars. The back side of the stone has a plaque for those lost in Vietnam. The stone is multicolored: golds, reds, greens (partly due to moss and lichen). The brass has not been polished in recent years, but it is still easy to read.
When exiting town South on Old Hwy. 49, the WWI plaque is visible, facing the driver on the left side of the road. When entering town, headed North, the stone is to the left with the WWI plaque visible only after you pass. The "Vietnam in Honored Glory" plaque faces those entering from the South.
The following is an account of the dedication of the monument published in the New York Times issue of July 5, 1922:
Roses Fall on Monument:
Jersey City Unveils Memorial for 147 Soldiers Who Fell in War.
A monument to 147 soldiers from Jersey City who fell in the war was unveiled at Pershing Field, Jersey City, yesterday afternoon, as part of Jersey City's Independence Day exercises. A feature of the ceremony was the dropping of roses over the field during the services.
Lieutenant Stanton Weissenborn, a former army air pilot, circled above the crowd for two hours, and at frequent intervals dropped a rose until 147, one for each man who died, had fluttered down and made an immense bouquet at the foot of the monument.
The memorial is a life-size bronze figure of a woman, her arms filled with laurels. It is called, "Triumphant America." It was bought by the people of Jersey City through voluntary subscription.
Julius Beger, Chairman of the Monument Committee, presented the memorial to the Captain E. Fisk Post of the American Legion, and Arthur Liesemgang, post commander, presented it to the city. Lieutenant Louis Van Den Ecker, representing the French Consul General at New York; Dr. Foster Timothy of New York, representing British veterans, and Lieut. Col. Kerfoot, U.S.A., were among those who took part in the exercises.
Photos courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office
This monument was erected in 1925 to commemorate Hoboken's role as the US Army Port of Embarkation during World War I, and honor the 3 million troops who passed through Hoboken's port. The monument contains a bronze tablet mounted to the face of a granite boulder. It was erected by the Hoboken Assembly, Fourth Degree, of the Knights of Columbus.
The current plaque was fabricated in 1978 and paid for by Hudson County. The boulder originally sat on Pier 4 near River Street. It was moved to River Street near Pier B in 1976. In 2002-03, with the completion of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, it was moved to its present location at First Street & Pier A.
Narrative adapted from Hoboken Historical Museum website.
Photo courtesy of: Hoboken Historical Museum
318 S Court St
WWI Field Artillery Piece on the grounds of Morton Grove's American Legion Civic Center
Small block memorial describing the memorial tree as planted in remembrance of those men who served from 1917-1918.
Rees Park, Turner at Rees Streets
The original statue was created in Americus by artist E. M. Viquesney at the behest of the residents of Berrien County, and stands in Nashville, Georgia. The current Americus statue is a copper copy which stood in downtown Americus on Lee at Lamar Streets from 1921 to 1947. More than 150 copies of the popular original from Nashville were mass-produced during the 1920s and 1930s, and stand in communities across Georgia and the nation.
1122 Sunrise Beach Rd
Located in the Maryland State Veterans Cemetery
During the period from April 1920 through July 1921, the remains of many servicemen buried in Europe during World War I were disinterred. These remains were either reinterred in selected cemeteries in Europe or returned to the United States. Of these, the remains of about 2100 were reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery, specifically, in Section 18. Through the efforts of the Argonne Unit American Womens Legion, the Argonne Cross was erected to their memory and in their honor. It is situated in the southwest corner of Section 18 and faces east. A grove of 19 pine trees are on 3 sides of the Cross (North, West and South). These trees are symbolic of the Argonne Forest where many of the men fought. At the juncture of the arm and stem of the cross is carved, in low relief, an eagle and wreath.
The inscription on the east side of the base reads:
In memory of our men in France
The inscription on the west side of the base reads:
Erected through the efforts of the Argonne Unit American Womens Legion
No additional information at this time.
Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families. Service to country is the common thread that binds all who are remembered and honored at Arlington.
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 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"