June 15, 2017 - Grant Narratives & Applications for the 100 Cities/100 Memorials Grant Challenge Due
California Applicants Construct Narratives on the Projects They Envision to Further the Remembrance of Those who Served 100 Years Ago
By Bill Betten, Co-Director of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force
The opportunity to gain matching funds for WW1 memorials needing restoration across the nation closed on Thursday, June 15th. The United States World War 1 Centennial Commission together with the Pritzker Military Museum is offering the matching grants in what they are calling the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program. Several California organizations have responded with the goal to save the monuments and memorials they identified in need in their communities.
The story of the finding and restoration of one of these WW1 monuments in the Los Angeles area starts with a quest.
Amateur historian Courtland Jindra, an L.A. resident, had been tracking down memorials for Dr. Mark Levitch's nation-wide WWI Memorial Inventory Project for over a year when he discovered an article in the archives of the Los Angeles Times from November 12, 1920, referring to a place called “Victory Memorial Grove.”
In the fascinating narrative submitted to the Commission for consideration we read that Jindra, a future California WW1 Centennial Task Force Co-Director, had succeeded in locating the neglected, vandalized, and finally lost monument referred to in the newspaper article.
Actually, he found two WW1 memorials there. About the grant application he explained, “(W)e sort of imply the monument and the park are more connected than they were. They both are WWI memorials, but the DAR (monument) is specific to California DAR relatives who died in the war, while the park was supposed to be for all of Los Angeles. Both ended up commemorating far beyond Los Angeles itself as people in LA bought trees for those beyond the city, which to me is very fitting given this city is full of people not from here.”
In, Save Victory Memorial Grove Project, the narrative submitted to the United States World War 1 Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum in application to be one of the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials Awardees, Courtland explains the trials and tribulations of the Victory Memorial Grove WW1 monument and his finding it.
In their grant narrative for their submission on the Carmel-by-the-Sea World War I Memorial Arch, Ian Martin and the American Legion Post 512 wrote:
“In 1977, a runaway car nearly obliterated the monument. The City of Carmel-by-the-Sea coordinated its reconstruction effort, bringing together stone anonymously donated from the original quarry, and the son and grandson of one of the original quarrymen to shape that stone into blocks to rebuild the monument.”
They continue to explain that, “Today, this war memorial is in generally good shape. However, the soft, readily-carved sandstone is beginning to flake apart in some places, and needs replacing.”
Read below: To Those Who Served