In 1921 a monument was erected in front of Knoxville High School in honor of the men who served in the 117th Infantry Regiment during World War I. The 117th had been part of the 3rd Tennessee Infantry in the pre-war National Guard. Called into service, the unit became the 117th Infantry Regiment, serving during the Great War as part of the 30th Infantry Division. On May 22, 1922 a special dedication ceremony was held. General John Pershing was one of the guest speakers who addressed the crowd of approximately 7,000.
The memorial consists of a life-sized bronze World War I infantryman appearing to run across rocky ground, carrying a rifle in his left hand and a grenade in his upraised right hand. Beneath is a granite base and behind is a tall granite shaft topped by an eagle with outstretched wings. The shaft is adorned with medallions and several plaques honoring the local participants in wars from the Mexican War through World War I. Some list the names of the 453 members of the 117th Infantry who died in World War I.