September 27, 2017 - California Prominent in First Round of 100 Cities/100 Memorials Grant Challenge, Earns Multiple Grants
Centennial Commission & Pritzker Announces the First 50 Official ‘WWI Centennial Memorials’
By Bill Betten, Co-Director of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force
To commemorate the centennial of World War I, the United States World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library are teaming up to provide 100 grants of up to $2,000 each for the restoration of 100 World War I Memorials across the United States. On September 27th, the first fifty approved “WWI Centennial Memorials” awardees of the 100 Cites/100 Memorials program were announced.
According to the U.S. WW1 Centennial Commission the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials grants program was designed to “motivate and support the efforts of local organizations across the country to honor the memory of their hometown war heroes, to build awareness of the war’s impact on their local communities, and to restore and provide for the ongoing upkeep of their local World War I memorials”
To support this, the Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library provided $200,000 in initial matching grant funding.
Local citizens and associations, including civic groups, service organizations, and veteran’s groups were encouraged to find and nominate memorials in need. Restoration and commemoration proposals were to then be submitted for consideration, in hopes of being selected as one of the recipients.
The awardees include the Chinese Americans Veterans Memorial in San Francisco, Elysian Park's "Victory Memorial Grove" in Los Angeles, the Carmel-by-the-Sea World War I Memorial Arch, and Berkeley's "World War I Commemorative Plaque.”
These four California awarded memorials, as with all of the grant winners, now bear the designation of being a “WWI Centennial Memorial” and will each be provided an authorized bronze medallion intended eventually to be mounted to them.
The Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Museum has announced the second fifty will come from the second round of the matching grant challenge now underway.
Pritzker Military Museum & Library CEO, Kenneth Clarke, is quoted as saying:
“It is important to note that selecting the 50 awardees was very difficult. We found that every project submitted is amazing in its own right. Though we are announcing 50 awardees now, literally every submission received, deserves recognition and congratulations…The dedication and honor the participants have shown to their community, their history and our national heritage is genuinely humbling.”
The California WW1 Centennial Task Force takes pride in recognizing the four California awardees, and congratulate them in their efforts.
In the narrative to their submission, Ian Martin and American Legion Post 512 wrote this about their project:
"Carmel-by-the-Sea is fortunate to have a World War I memorial designed by one of our nation’s preeminent architects (Charles Greene.) It is not only an invitation to remember the First World War, but is also an icon of the town itself. It is certainly among the best-known World War I memorials in California."
Of his project at Victory Memorial Grove, Courtland Jindra explained that, "It is only fitting that the organization key to the placing of this monument originally, the Los Angeles - Eschscholtzia Daughters of the American Revolution, are key to its renovation." His mother Kim Jindra is a member of the chapter which is part of the restoration team consisting of American Legion Post 43, Disney Salutes, the LA City Council District 10, City of LA Department of Recreation and Parks, the Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park, and the D.A.R. chapter.