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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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1662 Rugby Avenue
College Park
GA
USA
30337
https://www.woodward.edu/

Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch

                  In Memoriam
           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

                        translation:
“It is sweet and glorious to die for one’s country"
 

Augusta - Hero Grove & Marker

          
Central Avenue
Augusta
GA
USA
30904

Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch

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.
 
Augusta
GA
USA
30901

Picture by Mike Stroud, July 2008

American Gold Star Mother Tribute, Greene at 11th Streets, Augusta
 
Augusta
GA
USA
30901
“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”
 
Median of Greene Street between 10th Street and James Brown Boulevard
Augusta
GA
USA
30901
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.
 
Median of Greene Street
Augusta
GA
USA
30901

Photos Courtesy of Lamar Veatch

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:

  • World War I
    • Aisne - Marne
    • St. Mihiel
    • Meuse -Argonne
    • Defensive Sector
    • Army of Occupation
  • World War II
    • Normandy
    • Northern France
    • Rhineland
    • Ardennes
    • Central Europe
  • Vietnam
The 4th was the first unit of US. Troops to land on Utah Beach Normandy France 6 June 1944
 
 
131 N Court St
Prattville
AL
USA
36067
 
Bainbridge
GA
USA
39817

Vanishing Georgia, Georgia Archives, University System of Georgia

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.
 
Shiloh Baptist Church
Milledgeville
GA
USA
31061
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.
 

Baltimore's War Memorial Building

          
101 North Gay Street
Baltimore
MD
USA
21202

1925

Laurence Hall Fowler

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.

 
320 E College Ave
Batesville
AR
United States
72501
No additional information at this time.
 
1 E 7th St.
Mountain Home
AR
USA
72653
No additional information at this time.
 
100 E. Midland St
Bay City
MI
USA
48706

1924

John Pauling

Bay City Doughboy Statue by John Pauling

The Doughboy Statue was erected in 1924 after the Bay City Women's Improvement Committee approached the Bay City Commission about erecting a statue in 1923, Brady said. It cost $2,100.

The bronze statue has been under the care and auspices of the Bay County Library System. While there doesn't appear to be any documentation of maintenance of the statue, it's in remarkably good shape.

 
Berrien County Courthouse Square
Nashville
Berrien County
United States
31639

The first of the statues by sculptor E. M. Viquesney. It honors the 60 Berrien County residents who died in service during World War I, including 28 who perished in the disastrous sinking of the troop ship Otranto off Scotland in 1918.

Copies of this statue were placed in many other communities throughout Georgia and the United States in subsequent years.

 

Berryville Town Square

      
302 Public Square, Berryville, AR 72616
Carroll
AR
USA
72616
No additional information at this time.
 

Berwyn WW1 Memorial

      
 
3001 S. Wisconsin
Berwyn
IL
USA
60402
In Proska park there is a WW1 memorial that is in need of some repair.
 
 
Corner of US Highway 441 and Old Bishop Road
Bishop
GA
USA
30621
Erected on July 6, 2003 by the AMVet Post 10 and Auxiliary

“In Honor of All American Veterans Who Served During Wars in Defense of Their County 1917 - 2003"
 
Jersey City
NJ
USA
07305

There are two memorials for the Black Tom explosion - one at Liberty State Park in NY Harbor; the other, a stained glass window at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in Jersey City. 

Black Tom was an island in New York Harbor, next to Liberty Island, that received its name from an early African American resident.  By 1880, a railroad connected it to Jersey City & it began its use as a shipping depot.  By 1916, its mile-long pier housed a depot and warehouses for the National Dock & Storage Company. 

In 1914 Imperial Germany sent Count Johann von Bernstorff to be its new ambassador in Washington D.C. But von Bernstorff's staff of diplomats were not all as they seemed for these bureaucrats were a veritable army of undercover spies and saboteurs, arriving with millions of dollars to aid the German war effort by sabotage and illicit destruction.

Among their principal targets were the endless supplies of munitions that the neutral US was selling to Great Britain and France. In 1916, over 2,000,000 tons of explosives were in storage on Black Tom, ready to sail across the Atlantic. The island soon caught the attentions of von Bernstorff and his saboteurs.

On the night of July 30, 1916, Black Tom island disappeared. Just after 2 am, slow burning pencil bombs planted by the German agents ignited an explosion so colossal it registered 5.5 on the Richter scale. As glass windows shattered in Times Square and St.Patrick's Cathedral, the blast shook the Brooklyn Bridge and was felt as far away as Philadelphia and Maryland. The Statue of Liberty felt the full blast and was showered with shrapnel, exploding bullets and shells.  

Federal investigations named two guards at Black Tom as the likely culprits; the guards turned out to be German agents Kurt Jahnke and Lothar Witzke, but both escaped. An explosion in 1917 at the Mare Island naval shipyard in Vallejo, CA was also attributed to them. When the US finally responded to German's secret war of attrition by declaring war in 1917, Jahnke and Witzke fled to Mexico.

Black Tom Island was reconstructed with landfill and is today the southeastern part of Jersey City's Liberty State Park. Today the park is a popular recreation area, with families taking advantage of the close up views of the Statue of Liberty. But in the corner of the picnic area is a simple plaque, often passed by, which reads, "You are walking on a site which saw one of the worst acts of terrorism in American history."

It is not known exactly how many people died or were injured in the explosion. Possibly, the congregation of Our Lady of Czestochowa were hit hard, which led to the commemorating of the attack with their stained glass window memorial.

The Lehigh Valley Railroad who owned Black Tom Island sought compensation against Germany, who settled on a payment of $50 million which was finally paid as recently as 1979. 

The attack may be long forgotten and little known, but it has an ongoing repercussion.  Structural damage caused by the explosion is the reason today's visitors to the Statue of Liberty are prohibited from going up into the torch.  It has been closed to the public since that fiery evening. 

Narrative adapted from Atlas Obscura website. 

Photos courtesy of: 
Memorials - Luke J. Spencer, Atlas Obscura
Vintage photos - NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks & Forestry

 
220 2nd Ave E
Oneonta
AL
USA
35121

November 11, 1992

Erected by the American Legion & Auxiliary, Disabled American Veterans & Auxiliary, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars & Auxiliary.
 
100 N Main St.
Harrison
AR
USA
72601
No additional information at this time.
 

Bowman Area Veterans Memorial

          
Bowman
GA
USA
30624

Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch

"Dedicated to the glory of God and all veterans of the Bowman community, more especially to these who have given their lives for our nation's cause."
 
Mount Clemens
MI
USA
48043
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM577M_Boys_of_St_Peters_Parish_WWI_Monument_Mt_Clemens_MI

1925

Daprato Statuary Company, fabricator

Boys of St. Peters Parish WWI Monument

This monument lists the names of the boys of St. Peters parish in Mt. Clemens, MI. that served their country in The Great War from 1917-1918.

World War I was a global war which took place primarily in Europe from 1914 to 1918. Over 40 million casualties resulted, including approximately 20 million military and civilian deaths. Over 60 million European soldiers were mobilized from 1914 to 1918.

World War I Monument/Joan of Arc (sculpture)
Is described as Full-length figure of Joan of Arc dressed in armor and standing in contrapposto (weight-bearing leg, proper right). She gazes towards sky. Proper right hand grips the pole of a flag or banner; proper left rests on the upper edge of a shield which is balanced upright, tip resting on the ground, behind bent proper left leg. Shield emblazoned with upright sword, pommel down, and crown, flanked by fleurs-de-lis. Figure wears a sword, belted to hips and slung behind legs. Between the feet, a spiked war club lies on the ground.
The statue is made from zinc or lead with a granite base.
Statue: approx. 8 x 2 x 2 ft. Base: approx. 8 1/2 x 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 ft.

An inscription of Deprato Foundry Co. unsigned Founder's mark appears. Other than that there is a bronze plaque (SE Side) which reads;
This Monument erected to perpetuate the memory of the boys of St. Peter’s Parish. Mount Clemens, Mich who served their country in the world war 1917-1918
(then listed are 178 names, of which 5 died and 8 were wounded)

 
101 E Cedar St #8, Warren, AR 71671
Warren
AR
USA
71671
No additional information at this time.
 
Coldwater
MI
USA
49036

Branch County World War Monument

This is a plaque in a park dedicated to several war memorials. It honors those from Branch County, Michigan, who gave their lives in The World War for their country.There are several guns on display as well, demonstrating the various types of weaponry used throughout the years. One pair was dedicated in 1988, honoring those who served.

 
Quitman
GA
USA
31643

Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch

Originally a WW1 monument, now an all wars memorial.  Individual bricks are placed in the plaza, with the names of Brooks County military.  The memorial is sponsored by VFW Post 5659, Quitman, GA.
 

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