"100 Cities/100 Memorials" program to help restore & preserve local World War I Memorials in U.S. has officially launched
By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission
The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library have announced a new program to help people across the country restore and preserve local World War I memorials.
"100 CITIES/100 MEMORIALS" is a fund‐matching program, where groups or individuals can A) identify local World War I memorials in their area, B) put together a conservation treatment proposal for a memorial in distress, C) submit their plan for consideration for matching grant funds, D) have the memorial treated by an accredited conservator, with communication help & possible matching funds.
The details of the program, including guidelines and online application form, can be found here.
The program is designed to foster a sense of heritage in local communities, to recognize local stories & people who were involved in the war, and create a way for community members to participate in the national World War I Centennial.
Kenneth Clarke, President and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library stated, "The words 'Lest We Forget' appear on World War I memorials across the nation. Sadly, however, many of these memorials are in need of conservation and restoration, in this, their centennial year."
The 100 CITIES/100 MEMORIALS program is particularly well suited for community service projects hosted by school groups, scout troops, veteran group posts, historical/cultural organizations, faith groups, local sports teams, and others.
Dan Dayton, Executive Director of the Centennial Commission, commented "Doughboys came from every town and village in the US. This program gives the Commission a way to say thank you in a very tangible way."
The sponsor organizations have teamed with the World War I Memorial Inventory Project, which is assembling a crowd‐sourced, online database to document and assess the condition of the thousands of World War I memorials across the country.
Some of the 100 CITIES/100 MEMORIALS program specifics include the following:
- All submitted projects will be given communication resources to help participants publicize their work, post imagery to social media, and tell their own stories.
- Webinars & videos hosted on the Centennial Commission website will provide information about conserving memorials, researching a memorial’s history, and creating a project plan for submission.
- All World War I memorial projects are eligible to be considered for this program's matching funds. However, the matching funds available per project is currently limited to $2,000, which is likely to be most useful for smaller projects.
- In November 2016, one hundred of the submitted projects will be selected by a jury to receive matching funds.
- To qualify for a matching grant, a project proposal needs to be submitted by November 11, 2016.
- Memorials need to be located in the 50 states or US territories, and the preservation work must be completed (or have been completed) between January 1, 2014 and November 11, 2018.
This fund‐matching program has been adopted by The American Legion by Resolution of the National Executive Committee.
The Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library welcome additional supporting organizations as well as additional sponsors to expand the funds available to the awardees.