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

 Pershing ParkPershing Park, the proposed site of the U.S. national WWI memorial, near the White House. (Photo by John Mees, ABC News)

Building a national World War I memorial in Washington proves to be an uphill battle

By James Glenday
North America Correspondent, Australian Broadcasting Corporation 

To an Australian, the task sounds like it should be simple.

Build a national World War I memorial in the centre of Washington DC in time for the 100th anniversary of the armistice.

America is a nation that makes a point of honouring its veterans.

During the Great War, 116,000 "doughboys" died and while all the other major 20th century conflicts that helped turn the US into the globe's unrivalled superpower have iconic monuments on the capital's national mall, there is not one commemorating the war in which they fought.

So, how hard could building it be?

"It's incredibly complicated," said Edwin Fountain from the US World War I Centennial Commission.

"Building a memorial in the capital … is always complex."

We are chatting in a run-down, leaf-filled park that was by now meant to be home to a cascading fountain and huge bronze sculpture wall.

Yes, the deadline has already passed.

No construction has taken place even though a ceremonial ground breaking was held a year ago.

The new date for completion is now Remembrance Day 2021.

Read the entire article on the ABC News web site here:

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