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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.

Memorial Hunters Club

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.

Filter:
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.
 
 
3220 The Alameda
Baltimore
MD
USA
21218
 

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.

 
Near 234 Washington St #303
Columbus
IN
USA
47201

1997

 
Near 234 Washington St #303
Columbus
IN
USA
47201

1939

 
Near 234 Washington St #303
Columbus
IN
USA
47201

1929

 
Batesville
IN
USA
47006

August 1923

 
320 E College Ave
Batesville
AR
USA
72501
No additional information at this time.
 

Baxter County Courthouse

          
1 E 7th St.
Mountain Home
AR
USA
72653

Courthouse for Baxter County, Arkansas.

 
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.

 
 
Bedford
IN
USA
47421

January 13, 1924

 
101 Commerce Dr E, Belle Plaine, MN 56011
Belle Plaine
MN
USA
56011
 

Bellevue WWI Memorial Monument

          
201 NE 4th St
Bellevue
WA
USA
98004

On November 11, 1926, the Bellevue Minute Women dedicated a bronze plaque and 65' wooden flagpole to the memory of the three Bellevue citizens who lost their lives in WWI. 89 years later, the memorial was restored to prominence by the "Lest We Forget" committee of VFW Post 2995 in conjunction with Jewish War Veterans Pacific NW Post 686, the Bellevue Department of Parks and Community Services, the Eastside Heritage Center, and the Bellevue City Council. Although the original flagpole no longer stands today, the restored memorial contains a metal representational remnant. It also features a new sculpture depicting a ceremonially folded American casket flag with three roses placed on top. Nearby, three elm trees in a memorial grove symbolize the three fallen sons of Bellevue. Every Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day, three flags are flown to honor the servicemen's memory; there are also plans to hold commemorative ceremonies recognizing the centennial of each man's date of death. The memorial is located in the center of Bellevue's Downtown Park.

 
401 NE Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy
Bentonville
AR
USA
72712

No additional information at this time.

 
Berrien County Courthouse Square
Nashville
GA
USA
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

      
Berryville
AR
USA
72616
Town Square in the city of Berryville, Arkansas.
 

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.
 
200 Coliseum Drive
Macon
GA
USA
31217

November 11, 1988

Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch

The memorial is inscribed with names from World War 1 from Jones County, Monroe County, Crawford County, Peach County, Twiggs County, Houston County, and Bibb County.

Inscription - "In honor of the men and women of the armed forces of the United States who served in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.  The names of those who gave their lives and those who remain missing are inscribed heron."

“But we….shall be remembered;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me 
Shall be my brother…"
William Shakespeare
Henry V

 
 
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

 
Hartford City
IN
USA
47348

September 28, 1921

Ernest Moore Viquesney

This monument includes the Blackford County World War I Honor Roll as well as one of sculptor E. M. Viquesney's "Spirit of the American Doughboy" sculptures.
 
112 Second Street
Cochran
GA
USA
31014
http://www.bleckley.org/

March 15, 1969

Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch

Flame of Freedom Monument on courthouse grounds.

Inscription:  “ Presented By Bleckley County and the American Legion Honoring Veterans of All Wars, March 15, 1969, Rededicated Memorial Day 1991”.

The WW1 portion of this monument contains the names of 7 service members.

 
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.
 

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