Memorial Competition: A chance to keep World War I history alive
By Ashley Wright
The iconic wall for Vietnam, the fountains for WWII and the rows upon rows of white stones in Arlington hold tribute to those who perished for freedom from the Civil War to today. But there is something missing from the familiar landscape of our nation’s capital, and now is your chance to remedy that and pay tribute to the heroes of the Great War.
The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission opened a design competition for a National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC, May 21. The site approved by Congress for the monument is Pershing Park in Washington, DC.
While the nation erected monuments for other conflicts over the years, WWI remained unnoticed, despite costing more American lives than Vietnam and Korea combined and shifting the world in ways still evident today.
The two-stage design competition is an open, international contest for professionals, university-level students or any other interested participants.
In the first stage, participants will submit narrative and graphic descriptions of a design concept responding to the competition’s design goals. Submissions from Stage I selected as finalists will be further refined and developed in Stage II.
Both stages of the competition will be evaluated by a jury of individuals representing the worlds of government, the military, the arts and the citizens of Washington DC. The Commission will have final decision on the selected design, based on the recommendation of the jury.
The proposed monument location, Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets NW, would serve as a daily reminder to current government officials and visitors alike that the United States is the home of the free, because of the brave. This is the chance of a century to honor the four million Americans who fought during the United States 18 months of involvement in war with 116,516 service members dying, and another 340,000 wounded.
The deadline for Stage I submissions is July 21, and Stage II finalists will be announced Aug. 4. The Commission expects to announce its selected design in January 2016.