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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.

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Beresford War Memorial

      
Corner of N 2nd St and E Cedar St
Beresford
SD
USA

May 27, 1991

This memorial honors each branch of the Armed Forces as well as those who served in World War 1, World War 2, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Lebanon, and Desert Storm.

 
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.
 
Coleman Hill
Macon
GA
USA
31201

     Erected in 1922, the monument was beautifully restored in 2015 under the direction of Middle Georgia State University President Christopher Blake.  It honors soldiers from Macon who served primarily in the 42nd Rainbow Division, and depicts the cities in France where the 42nd saw action.  It is inscribed in Latin with a phrase translated as “It is sweet and glorious to die for one’s country.”

“Erected by the Ladies Auxiliary 151 Machine Gun Bt., assisted by the Men of the Battalion - 1922”

”in memory of the 51st Machine Gun Battalion” 

 
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.
 

Bluffton Veterans Park

      
Bluffton
IN
USA
46714

Unknown

 

Boone County Courthouse

          
100 N Main St.
Harrison
AR
USA
72601
Courthouse for Boone County, Arkansas.
 
100 N Main St.
Harrison
AR
USA
72601
No additional information at this time.
 
100 N. Main Street
Harrison
AR
USA
72601

No additional information at this time.

 
Lebanon
IN
USA
46052
 
East Ulen Drive
Lebanon
IN
USA
46052

2009

 

Boonsboro WWI Memorial

      
21 N. Main Street
Boonsboro
MD
USA
21713
 
6370 Kootenai St
Bonners Ferry
ID
USA
83805

This memorial park contains three monuments honoring the veterans and fallen servicemembers of Boundary County and one honoring the explorers who established the "first route of travel and trade across what is now the state of Idaho." The monuments honor veterans of all wars, including WW1. The park is located near the library, with its 100-foot flagpole making it hard to miss.

 

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."
 

Box Elder County War Memorial

          
1 S Main St
Brigham City
UT
USA
84302

This memorial is dedicated to the servicemembers of Box Elder County "who sacrificed their lives in the cause of freedom and liberty in the great World Wars." The base of the soldier statue features three bronze plaques: one listing the names of the fallen in both World Wars, one listing the fallen from the conflicts since WW2, and one reading: Freedom Is Not Free: In Solemn Recognition Of The Sacrifices And Leadership Of The Men And Women Of Box Elder County Who Gave Their Lives To Preserve A Free Society, Built The Peace And Gave To Future Generations The Precious Gift Of Freedom.

 
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.

 

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