The California Office of Historic Preservation
by Diane Barclay, Outreach and Communications Coordinator, California Office of Historic Preservation
The California Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) administers federally and state mandated historic preservation programs to further the identification, evaluation, registration, and protection of California’s irreplaceable resources. The OHP promotes a historic preservation ethic through preservation education and public awareness and by demonstrating leadership and stewardship for historic preservation in California.
Preserving our collective California heritage, however, is a task that no government agency by itself can accomplish. The strength of historic preservation is found in the dedication and actions of individual citizens coming together to save, restore, and celebrate those places and stories most important to them and to our shared history as Californians. Preservation is personal; it is the individual stories that illuminate and give context to the greater collective history or significance of a place or event. Such is the case with World War I and California’s role in the Great War. Behind the broader scope of the war are the individual histories of Californians who served and sacrificed on the lines of battle as well as those who remained home, but kept minds and hearts turned toward the conflict half a world away. Found within many California communities are memorials, veterans’ halls, and other WWI associated sites, while individual families hold cherished mementos and stories of family members who served in the war.
The efforts of the California World War I Centennial Task Force and their partners throughout the state, helped to successfully restore, preserve, honor, and draw attention to California’s World War I heritage. They ensured that present and future generations will be able to visit WWI sites, and just as importantly, will know the stories of the many individuals in whose memory these sites exist. The Office of Historic Preservation feels privileged to have had the opportunity to engage with the members of the California World War I Centennial Task Force, and to witness firsthand the dedication they brought, on behalf of their fellow citizens, to preserving and sharing this important chapter in California’s history.