African American Soldiers 1 The pilots pilots in dress uniforms Mule Rearing doughboys with mules African American Officers gas masks Riveters


Gary Glasberg, July 15, 1966 – September 28, 2016

gary glasberg 2016It was with great sadness that the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission learned of the passing of Mr. Gary Glasberg, legendary television writer and producer, showrunner on "NCIS", and creator of "NCIS: New Orleans". He helped us greatly in his role as Special Advisor to the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission.

Our relationship with him was marked by his his warm, endearing personality. He was always welcoming to our questions, and generous with his time and his insights. It was an honor to have him as a friend to us, and to our organization. As one of entertainment's greatest talents, he will always be remembered and greatly missed, for his immeasurable contribution and impact on television.

The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission extends deepest condolences to Mr Glasberg's family and friends, and trust that his lasting legacy will bring comfort to his loved ones.


Commissioner Colonel Robert J. Dalessandro, USA (Ret.) (former Chair)

robert dalessandroRob Dalessandro was appointed as the deputy secretary for Headquarters Operations at the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) on September 8, 2014. Previously he was selected as a member of the Senior Executive Service and appointed as Executive Director/Chief of Military History, U.S. Army Center of Military History, on 13 February 2011.

He has over 31 years of experience in the Department of Defense serving in a variety of command and staff positions at both the operational and headquarters levels. After beginning his Federal career in 1980 as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Dalessandro served in a wide variety of leadership and staff assignments, including commands at the company, depot, and battalion levels and staff assignments at echelons of command from battalion through Department of the Army level.

Dalessandro retired from the U.S. Army in June 2009 after serving as the Director of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, PA. Since then, he has served as the Assistant Chief of Military History at the Center of Military History, working a wide range of administrative, technical, museum, and policy issues.

Rob was commissioned in the U.S. Army after graduating from the Virginia Military Institute with a degree in history. His graduate studies include work at the College of William and Mary, where he studied historical archeology; a master's degree in Military Arts and Science in history from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; a master's degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College; and a graduate certificate in museum collections management and care from George Washington University.

Considered one of the Army's foremost experts on battlefield interpretation, Mr. Dalessandro is widely published on the lifeways and material culture of the American Soldier.

He is editor of the Army Officer's Guide, and coauthor of Organization and Insignia of the American Expeditionary Force, 1917-1923; Willing Patriots: Men of Color in the First World War; and American Lions: The 332nd Infantry Regiment in Italy in World War One. He is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the Society for Military History, American Association of Museums, and the Company of Military Historians. He has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Parachutist Badge.

He was appointed to the Commission by the House Minority Leader, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of California.

Commissioner James S. Whitfield

james whitfieldJames (Jim) S. Whitfield of Independence, Missouri, is a Life Member of The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars in the United States, and BPO Elks, all of Warrensburg, Missouri. He is an Honorably Discharged U.S. Navy veteran of World War II having served in the Far Pacific, North Atlantic, and Indian oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea, aboard the same ship for 33 months. He has been an active member of The American Legion since 1946, having served in many capacities including Executive Director, American Legion National Headquarters in Indianapolis, IN.

Whitfield holds a B.S. Degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Missouri with Post Graduate studies in Public Administration at the University of Colorado and in Finance from Iowa University. He received the George Charno Student Citizenship/Leadership Award his senior year at UCM where he also served as Veterans Affairs Coordinator for the University with the VA, as well as President of the Student Body.

Whitfield served as the first chairman for a period of 4 years of the Missouri Veterans Commission and served a total of 10 years on the Commission. During his tenure as Chairman the Missouri State Veterans Home system of seven homes and the State Veterans Cemetery system were established. Following his employment at The American Legion National Headquarters he was Administrative Manager and Convention Director for the North American Equipment Dealers Association with offices in St. Louis County, Missouri.

He was appointed to the Commission by the American Legion.


Former Commissioner James B. Nutter, Sr.

james nutterJames B. Nutter, Sr. of Kansas City, Missouri is a pioneer in mortgage lending, founding his mortgage lending company in 1951. The Army veteran and Midwest native wanted to help his friends purchase their own homes with the comfort of personal touch customer service. Today, the company is one of the largest privately-owned mortgage banking firms in the nation.

The success of his company has enabled Nutter to personally donate millions of dollars to a host of non-profits, including Habitat for Humanity, Mayo Clinic, Kansas City's Children's Mercy Hospital, the Harry S. Truman Library Institute, Kansas City Central Library, Boy Scouts of America (as a boy he made the rank of Eagle Scout), Saint Luke's Hospital, Little Sisters of the Poor, and Wayside Waifs animal rescue. Named for him are the James B. Nutter Sr. Family Information Commons at Ellis Library on the campus of his alma mater, the University of Missouri, and the Nutter Ivanhoe Neighborhood Center and Park in the urban core of Kansas City.

He was appointed to the Commission by the then-Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada.

Commissioner John E. Hamilton

john hamiltonJohn E. Hamilton was appointed Adjutant General of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 2013. Prior to that appointment, Hamilton served as Commander-in-Chief of the VFW. He has been a member of the VFW for some 40 years.

A third-generation U.S. Marine, Hamilton served in the Corps from 1968-1970 including a tour in Vietnam. His decorations include the Purple Heart (3 awards) and two Gold stars, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service medal, Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation gallantry Cross Color, Republic of Vietnam Unit Citation Civil Actions Color (First Class) and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Hamilton joined the VFW in 1974 at Post 7909 in Jacksonville, Fla. where he maintains his life membership. He has served the VFW in many leadership positions including the National Council of Administration from 1989-1991, and as State Commander from 1987-1988. Hamilton graduated with honors from Georgia Military Institute in 1967. He worked as a professional wrestler throughout the United States and the world for 15 years as Johnny Montana, (also known as "Dr. Death") along with other names and identities. Hamilton is a member of the Military Order of the Cootie, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion, and Marine Corps League.

He was appointed to the Commission by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Historical Advisory Board,
U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

The Historical Advisory Board for the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission (US WWICC) provides expert advice to the Commission as it evaluates requests for support. The Commission relies on the advice, in their area of expertise, of historical Advisors to review requests for endorsement, support or commemorative partnerships received by the Commission. Historical Advisors have also agreed to serve as advisors for the content of education material promoted by the US WWICC. Many of the Advisors also serve on state commissions, regional committees or organizations supporting locally the commemoration of the centennial of WWI. The Advisors serve without pay.


The Board Members

Commissioner Dr. Libby O'Connell

libby oconnellLibby O'Connell was appointed Chief Historian, Senior Vice President, Corporate Outreach, AETN, in March 2005. Dr. O'Connell serves as historical adviser for HISTORY's programming department. In addition, she spearheads all educational and community-based initiatives for AETN, including History's Take A Veteran To School Day and the award-winning Save Our History, and A&E's Intervention Town Hall Meetings, part of The Recovery Project.

Dr. O'Connell received her M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia. She has taught history at Long Island University and has served as president of Raynham Hall Museum on Long Island. Dr. O'Connell serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage; the Civil War Preservation Trust; and National History Day. She is also on the Council of Scholar Advisors for George Washington's home, Mount Vernon.


Commissioner Monique Brouillet Seefried, Ph.D.

monique brouillet 200 1Monique Seefried, during the past decade as president of the Croix Rouge Farm Memorial Foundation, purchased the historic land, commissioned one of the best sculptors in England and totally funded with private money a memorial statue to the US 42nd (Rainbow Division) on a WWI battlefield in France where the division fought with distinction. She also served from May 2003 until April 2009 as chairman of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Board of Governors. Prior to that, she founded and served as Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education (CASIE) in Atlanta, whose board she now chairs. She also serves on the board of the United World College in New Mexico.

Between 1982 and 2002, she was Curator of Near Eastern Art at the Carlos Museum of Emory University and taught courses on Ancient Archaeology and Islamic Art in the University's Art History Department. Seefried has been a regular pro-bono lecturer on art and archaeology topics as well as on international education and more recently on World War I, its causes and its consequences.

Born a French citizen in Tunisia, Seefried became a US citizen in 1985. After a classical (Latin/Greek) secondary education, she did her undergraduate and graduate studies in History at the Sorbonne University in Paris from where she also holds her Ph.D. She is fluent in English, French, German and Italian. In 2005, the French Government made her a “chevalier” in the Order of the Academic Palms, in 2009 in the Order of Merit and in 2015 in the Order of the Legion of Honor.


Mitch Yockelson, Ph.D.

Mitch Yockelson 200Mitch Yockelson is an archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) where he works in the Office of the Chief Operating Officer as a member of the Archival Recovery Team (ART). Additionally, Mitch teaches history at Norwich University. He has published widely in the field of military history, including articles and book reviews in various journals and magazines, and is the author of three books: Borrowed Soldiers, Americans under British Command, 1918 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2008), MacArthur: America’s General (Thomas Nelson, 2010) and Grant: Savior of the Union (Thomas Nelson, 2012). A fourth book, Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing’s Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in 1918, will be published by New American Library Press in March 2016. Mitch received a B.S. from Frostburg State University, an M.A. from George Mason University and a Ph.D. from the Royal Military College of Science, Cranfield University, United Kingdom.


Doran Cart

Doran Cart headshot 200Doran Cart is Senior Curator at The National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO. He has been the curator since April 1990 and Senior Curator since 2011. He has lived in Kansas City, Missouri since 1985. He has been involved in the restoration of the memorial, the creation of the current world-class museum and the growth of the museum collection into the most diverse collection on the war.

Doran has a B.A. in history from Indiana University and an M.A. in Museum Studies and History from the University of California, Riverside. Since he started his professional career in 1974, Doran has worked in museums, at historic sites and in historic preservation from Indiana to California to Florida and finally in Kansas City.

He has written a number of articles on historical subjects and edited two books. Doran has been interviewed on the national Fox News, for shows on the History Channel, PBS’ History Detectives and by local, regional and international media.


Mark Facknitz

Mark Facknitz Mark Facknitz is Roop Distinguished Professor of English at James Madison University. The 1989 winner of the Virginia Prize for fiction, his creative work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Story Quarterly, The Iowa Review, and other journals. His essays on Raymond Carver, Anthony Powell, Henry Green, Joseph Conrad, Michel Tournier, and others have appeared in Studies in Short Fiction, CEA Critic, The Journal of Modern Literature, Twentieth-Century Literature, The Journal of Narrative Technique, and other publications.

In recent years he has divided his research interests between the Great War and Willa Cather. His essay “Kitsch, Commemoration, and Mourning in the Aftermath of the Great War” is in press as Chapter 16 of Jonathan Vance’s The Great War: From Memory to History (Wilfred Laurier UP, 2016). He has published on Ivor Gurney’s shellshock in The Journal of the Ivor Gurney Society, on war cemeteries and the margins of memory in Bridges, on Luytens and Thiepval as paradigms of commemoration in Crossings, and on pre-1914 gardens as trope for the soldier’s remembered self in a/b Autobiography Studies.

His not purely academic interest in the Great War depends on a German grandfather, prisoner of war in Japan 1914-1919; an American grandfather, an engineer in the AEF; and a great uncle who died for Canada. He holds an MFA from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico.


John Maxwell Hamilton

John Maxwell HamiltonJack Hamilton is the Hopkins P. Breazeale Professor of Journalism at Louisiana State University and a Global Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. He is the author and co-author of six books and editor of many more.

His most recent book, Journalism’s Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting, won the Goldsmith Prize, among other awards. He is currently writing a history of propaganda in World War I.

Hamilton is the founding dean of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication and served as the university’s Executive Vice-Chancellor & Provost. Before coming to LSU, he was a foreign correspondent and a longtime commentator on public radio’s Marketplace.

He has held positions in the World Bank, the Agency for International Development, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.


Dr. Jennifer D. Keene

Jennifer KeeneJennifer D. Keene is a professor of history and chair of the History Department. She received her Ph.D. in History from Carnegie-Mellon University and is a specialist in American military experience during World War I. She received the Wang-Franklin Professorship for 2007-9, the highest faculty award given by Chapman University. Dr. Keene has published three books on the American involvement in the First World War, Doughboys, the Great War and the Remaking of America (2001), The United States and the First World War (2000), and World War I ( 2006). She is also the lead author for an America history textbook, Visions of America: A History of the United States. She is currently working on a book detailing the African American experience during the First World War and has another project comparing the experiences of soldiers from the French and British empires during World War I. Dr. Keene served as an associate editor for the Encyclopedia of War and American Society (2005) which won the Society of Military History's prize for best military history reference book. She is on the advisory board of the International Society for First World War Studies and serves as the book review editor for the Journal of First World War Studies.


Edward G. Lengel, Ph.D.

Edward G. LengelEdward G. Lengel received his B.A. in History from George Mason University in 1991, and in 1998 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, where he directed the Washington Papers Project for many years. He served as Chief Historian of the White House Historical Association from 2016 to 2018. Lengel has written several books on George Washington and World War I, and his next book, titled Never in Finer Company: The Men of the Great War’s Lost Battalion, will be published in September 2018. Lengel leads history and battlefield tours throughout Europe and the United States. He writes regularly for Military History Quarterly, American History and other periodicals, and has made television and radio appearances on The History Channel, Fox News, SiriusXM, and National Public Radio. He also appears on the World War I Centennial Commission’s weekly podcast as the segment host of "America Emerges: Military Stories from WWI".


Dr. Erin Mahan

Dr. Erin MahanDr. Erin Mahan is Chief Historian of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She previously served as associate research fellow at Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

From 2004-2008, she was Chief of the Division of Arms Control, Asia, and Africa in the Office of the Historian at the Department of State, where she edited several volumes in the Foreign Relations of the United States series related to Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, the former Soviet Union, the Vietnam War, and Korea.  She is also the author of Kennedy, De Gaulle and Western Europe (Palgrave, 2002) and has published several chapters and articles on biological and chemical weapons, NATO and U.S. and French foreign economic policies during the 1960s.

She was a contributing staff writer for the Report of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism (GPO, 2008). She was a nationally elected Council member for the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2009–2011, and was appointed to the National Historical Publications & Records Commission. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.


Dr. John H. Morrow, Jr.

Dr. John H Morrow JrDr. John H. Morrow, Jr. was invited to join the faculty of the University of Georgia in 1988 as Franklin Professor, and in 1991 was elected History Department Chairman. He served as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1993 to 1995 before returning to fulltime teaching and research. Twice selected an Honors Professor for superior teaching, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of Modern Europe and of warfare and society. He taught German history as a visiting professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point spring semester 2005, for which the Department of the Army awarded him its Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. In 1988-89 Morrow was the Charles A. Lindbergh Visiting Professor at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM), where he consulted on the design of the present gallery on World War I aviation. Morrow is a frequently invited lecturer at such institutions as the National War College, the Air War College, and the U.S. Military Academy,and he has chaired the History Advisory Committee to the Secretary of the Air Force, the Research Advisory Committee of the National Museum of American History (NMAH), and the Search Committee for the Director of the NMAH.


Jeffrey Sammons, Ph.D.

Jeffrey SammonsJeffrey T. Sammons is a professor in the Department of History at New York University, where he has taught since 1989. He began his academic career at the University of Houston and as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Cape Town before being named, in 1987, a Henry Rutgers Research Fellow at Rutgers University-Camden where he completed his critically acclaimed Beyond the Ring: The Role of Boxing in American Society. Sammons has also taught at Princeton University and at Hollins University as a Jessie Ball du Pont Scholar. In 2001, Sammons was awarded a fellowship by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and History and soon after received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in support of what became Harlem's Rattlers and the Great War. Sammons is a national senator of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and a member of the Museum and Library Committee of the United States Golf Association. He is the co-author of Harlem's Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality with John H. Morrow, Jr.


Dr. Steven Trout

Steven TroutA native of Kansas City, Missouri, Steven Trout is Chair of the Department of English and Director of the Center for the Study of War and Memory at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. He has authored or edited nine books related to the First World War in literature or public memory, including Memorial Fictions: Willa Cather and the First World War (University of Nebraska Press, 2002), On the Battlefield of Memory: The First World War and American Remembrance, 1919-1941 (University of Alabama Press, 2010), and World War I in American Fiction: An Anthology of Short Stories (co-edited by Scott D. Emmert, Kent State University Press, 2014).

He is the editor of the book series “War, Memory, and Culture,” published by the University of Alabama Press. Currently, he is writing a history of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire, New Mexico, the site that served as the de facto national memorial from 1971 until 1982.


Herman Viola, Ph.D.

Herman Viola 200Herman Viola, a curator emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution, is currently the senior advisor for the National Native American Veterans Memorial being developed at the National Museum of the American Indian.

His undergraduate and masters degrees are from Marquette University; his Ph.D. in history is from Indiana University. The founding editor of Prologue: the Journal of the National Archives, Dr. Viola spent the bulk of his federal career at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where he curated two major exhibitions—“Magnificent Voyagers: U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842” and “Seeds of Change”—and established an intern program for American Indians interested in becoming tribal archivists, librarians, or historians.

He is the author of numerous books and articles including Warriors in Uniform: the Legacy of American Indian Heroism.


Susan Zeiger, Ph.D.

Susan ZeigerSusan Zeiger is Program Director at the Primary Source. Before joining the Primary Source staff, Susan was a professor of History at Regis College in Weston, MA, where she taught courses in gender and global studies and all aspects of U.S. history. One of her favorite responsibilities was supervising undergraduate teacher-candidates in both elementary and secondary education.

Susan is the author of books and articles on topics that include immigration and race, international relations, and gender, war and peace movements. Her most recent publication is Entangling Alliances: Foreign War Brides and American Soldiers in the Twentieth Century (March 2010, New York University Press).

Another professional interest is oral history and theatre. She collaborated on a teaching project that became "Testimonio," a play based on oral interviews about women's experience of political repression in Central America. She holds a PhD in U.S. History from New York University.


How We are Funded

quill pen 80No appropriated funds from congress:
The Commission receives no appropriated funds from Congress. The World War One Centennial Commission Act which established the Commission (part of Public Law 112-272 passed by the 112th Congress and signed by President Obama on January 16, 2013, and further refined by Public Law 113-291, Subtitle J, Section 3091) specifies that “The Centennial Commission shall accept, use, and dispose of gifts, bequests, or devises of services or property, both real and personal, for the purpose of covering the costs incurred by the Centennial Commission to carry out its duties under this Act.

donate hand grey 80Seeking donations and sponsors from both individuals and corporations:
In order to support the mission, goals and programs, as well as fund the National WWI Memorials at Pershing Park, the organization is seeking donations and sponsors. Here are a few of the ways you can help:

Make a gift on our donation page where you can provide a single gift, a repeating gift, restrict your gift to a listed program, make your donation in honor of a loved one or organization and more.

Purchase official WWI Centennial Merchandise from the merchandise shop. The organization received a portion of all sales to support our programs.

Use Amazon Smile and assign us as your designated charity and we will get 2% of all your purchases

Contact our team for Corporate Sponsorships and Opportunities

PMML menu 100Founding Sponsor:
The Pritzker Military Museum and Library has generously supported the WWI Centennial as our Founding Sponsor, including a matching grant for all general donations. So please give and your $ is worth $$

The Foundation

To maximize its fundraising potential, the Commission created a supporting foundation to solicit and manage gifts and pledges obtained through a variety of national appeals and campaigns. The United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization whose mission is to support the Commission’s programs and activities. The Foundation serves as the principal fund-raising organization for the Commission, and it fully embraces the Donor Bill of Rights established by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission was created by an Act of Congress in 2013. Members of the 12-member Commission were appointed by the President and the leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the National World War I Museum. All four living former Presidents have agreed to serve the commission as honorary chairmen.

The Commission’s mission is to plan, develop, and execute programs, projects and activities to commemorate the Centennial of World War I (WWI).
Over the next five years the Commission intends to:

  • Develop educational programs targeted at a variety of audiences and delivered through a variety of broadcast, print and digital media, with the goal of teaching Americans about the country’s most forgotten war.
  • Organize activities, events, and symposia to commemorate American involvement in “the Great War.”
  • Establish a National World War I Memorial in Washington DC, and bring attention to the thousands of World War I memorials in communities across the country that honor Americans who served in the war.
  • Serve as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information about events and activities related to the Centennial Commemoration.

Over the next four years, the Commission will serve as the lead organizer for the nation’s commemorative events and will coordinate the activities of thousands individuals and institutions as they tell the story of the Great War. The Commission’s mission is to raise awareness of and give meaning to the events of a hundred years ago, using educational experiences and programming for all ages.

World War I remains America’s forgotten war, even though more Americans gave their lives during that war than during Korea and Vietnam combined, and even though it profoundly shaped the rest of “the American century.” The Commission will use the Centennial as a timely and essential opportunity to educate the country’s citizens about the causes, courses and consequences of the war; to honor the heroism and sacrifice of those Americans who served; and to commemorate through public programs and initiatives the centennial of this global event.


Remembering and honoring those that served and gave their lives during the First World War is a central task in the Centennial Commemoration period. More than four million American families sent their sons and daughters to serve in uniform during the Great War. In only five months of fighting at the end of the war, 116,516 U.S. soldiers gave their lives in combat, with another 200,000 wounded – a casualty rate far greater than in World War II. More than 350,000 African Americans served in the U.S. military, as did Native Americans and members of other minority groups. And, for the first time, women joined the ranks of the U.S. armed forces.

 By establishing a national memorial to World War I in the nation’s capital, and bringing renewed attention to local WWI memorials around the country, the Commission will honor the service and sacrifice of the men and women who served, not only on the battlefields but behind the lines and on the home front, and help today’s generations of Americans begin to understand the true heroism of all those who served.

  • Since 1982, the nation has dedicated national memorials in Washington, DC, in remembrance of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. No such memorial exists for the veterans of World War I. Congress has authorized the Commission to establish a national World War I Memorial in Pershing Park, one block from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. Currently, Pershing Park serves as the existing memorial honoring General John J. Pershing, the commander of all U.S. forces in the war. The memorial would be renovated and expanded to officially serve as the nation’s World War I memorial in Washington.

  • Across the country there are local WWI memorials in thousands of cities and towns that are forgotten and in disrepair. The Commission has partnered with the World War I Memorial Inventory Project and partners from all 50 states to create an on-line database that will assist with locating, restoring, and bringing new attention to all the memorials built to honor U.S. veterans of the First World War.



As a leading initiative of the Commemoration, the Commission will work with partner organizations to sponsor, create and host public programs and events at venues across the country, in addition to serving as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information about events and plans for the centennial of the First World War. This information will be available on-line via the web-site and other social media outlets.

Symposia, Lectures And Other Events

In partnership with other organizations, the Commission intends to sponsor an annual series of symposia on specific aspects of the First World War and on the lessons to be learned from the war. The symposia will be targeted to the general public and history enthusiasts alike. Recognizing that physical attendance at symposia is limited, proceedings will be available on-line via webcasts and downloads. Related papers and other materials will also be available for distribution to educators and the general public.

Additionally, the Commission website is gathering and organizing a collection of Centennial events being created by other organizations, States, Museum, Universities and other organizations. These can be explored on the website under EVENTS.

Family Ties: The Genealogy Project

The Commission has begun an initiative to create a program for gathering names and stories of WWI veterans. Families would be invited to send in photos and information about their loved ones that served during the war, creating a digital database similar to that produced for veterans from the Vietnam and WWII eras. This information is being collected and available for viewing on-line and in publications.

Public Events

The Commission will organize other commemorative events to be held throughout the country during the Centennial period. Some tentatively scheduled events will highlight the anniversaries of specific events of the war, such as the beginning of the war, the U.S. declaration of war, major engagements of U.S. forces, and the armistice.

The Commission will coordinate memorial services at the National Cathedral in Washington and at Arlington National Cemetery, and at churches, cemeteries and memorials around the country, in recognition of the centennial anniversary of Armistice Day, November 11, 1918. In addition, the Commission plans to partner with other organizations to organize a ticker tape parade and tall ship review in New York City, during the annual Fleet Week, to “welcome home the doughboys,” and to pursue additional plans to commemorate World War I in conjunction with major parades, such as the Macy’s and Rose Bowl Parades, and sporting events such as the World Series, National Football League games, and NASCAR races.

Arts & Culture Collaboration

The Commission will engage with museums, libraries and other arts and culture organizations to create and plan special programming and traveling exhibitions to tour across the United States and abroad. Telling a story through artifacts, works of art and musical compositions is an effective way to show the human side of war, and how its impact was felt far off the battlefield.

The Kansas City Symphony has been commissioned to create a WW1 symphony to be performed live in 2015. In addition, several opera companies have been scheduled to perform Silent Night, a WWI inspired opera, during the Centennial years in cities throughout the country.


While nearly four million American families were directly touched by the war, all Americans were asked to “do your bit.” Farmers were called upon to feed the troops, and industry developed new technologies and innovations for building ships, vehicles, weapons and supplies. All Americans will be invited to join in the Commemoration, and Commemoration activities will be coordinated with relevant groups including foreign centennial agencies, military and veterans groups, federal/state/local governments, museums and libraries, schools and universities, corporations, and foundations.

International Partnerships

The Commission’s Centennial observance is providing new opportunities for partnerships with other cultural organizations internationally. The Commission is endorsing the rehabilitation project at the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial near Paris, and is working directly with the UK and France on suitable memorials for the ‘Unknown Soldier.” Potential collaborations also exist with the Flanders House, the American Field Service, and the Imperial War Museum, among others.

The Planning Prospectus provides a good overview of the US World War One Centennial Commission project mission, mandates and goals. Click to Download


"Pershing" Donors

Founding Sponsor
PritzkerMML Logo

Starr Foundation Logo