World War One was a watershed in American history. The United States' decision to join the battle in 1917 "to make the world safe for democracy" proved pivotal in securing allied victory — a victory that would usher in the American Century.
In the war's aftermath, individuals, towns, cities, counties, and states all felt compelled to mark the war, as did colleges, businesses, clubs, associations, veterans groups, and houses of worship. Thousands of memorials—from simple honor rolls, to Doughboy sculptures, to grandiose architectural ensembles—were erected throughout the US in the 1920s and 1930s, blanketing the American landscape.
Each of these memorials, regardless of size or expense, has a story. But sadly, as we enter the war's centennial period, these memorials and their very purpose—to honor in perpetuity the more than four million Americans who served in the war and the more than 116,000 who were killed—have largely been forgotten. And while many memorials are carefully tended, others have fallen into disrepair through neglect, vandalism, or theft. Some have been destroyed. Watch this CBS news video on the plight of these monuments.
The extant memorials are our most salient material links in the US to the war. They afford a vital window onto the conflict, its participants, and those determined to remember them. Rediscovering the memorials and the stories they tell will contribute to their physical and cultural rehabilitation—a fitting commemoration of the war and the sacrifices it entailed.
We are building a US WW1 Memorial register through a program called the Memorials Hunters Club. If you locate a memorial that is not on the map we invite you to upload your treasure to be permanently archived in the national register. You can include your choice of your real name, nickname or team name as the explorers who added that memorial to the register. We even have room for a selfie! Check the map, and if you don't see the your memorial CLICK THE LINK TO ADD IT.
This Memorial Plaque is mounted to the outside West wall of the Tobin Center and is accompanied by plaques also dedicated to San Antonio soldiers who Made the Supreme Sacrifice in the Spanish American War and Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
Inscription: A.E.F. World War Veterans 1917-1919 (no local servicemen died in combat during WW1)
The four sides of the monument are inscribed with an acknowledgement and names of those who died in conflict from the Civil War through Afghanistan.
1620 Riverside Avenue
December 25, 1924
Charles Adrian Pillars
A sculpture in which six youthful figures appear to be emerging from a swirling globe-shaped mass. The figures are nude and are positioned on a diagonal encircling the globe. Atop the globe is a standing male nude with wings. His proper left arm is stretched out to the side. His proper right arm is stretched up above his head and he holds a branch in his proper right hand. He wears a wreath on his head and is sleek and youthful. The sculpture is in the center of a polygonal concrete basin with spiral ridges converging in the center. Two steps lead from the concrete and brick plaza to the basin.
Inscription: (On basin, on plaque:) In memoriam/Dedicated to the citizens of Florida/Who made the supreme sacrifice in the World War/1914-1918 (On another plaque:) Hereon reposes an/Indelible record of the/Twelve hundred and twenty/Names of those to whom/This memorial/Was reverently dedicated/On Christmas Day 1924 (On another plaque:) Completed and conveyed/To the city of Jacksonville, Florida/AD 1924 (On another plaque:) Erected in gratitude/By the citizens of Duval County, Florida
(According to waymarking.com, the plaque regarding dedication on Christmas Day has been replaced with one that reads: Spiritualized Life/Symbolized by the winged figure of youth/Rises triumphant from the swirl of war's chaos which engulfs humanity/and faces the future courageously)
Located in Mount Hope Cemetery.
This memorial monument is dedicated to the fallen servicemembers of Flathead County from the Spanish-American War to the present day. It is located near the old Kalispell railroad depot, in what is now called Depot Park.
Oakwood Cemetery, off of Hatch Blvd
The 102nd Infantry Regiment Memorial, 26th Yankee Division just celebrated their 100th anniversary on September 9th. The memorial was constructed August 9, 1942 by the New Haven Chapter Yankee Division Veterans Association. The regiment is where the New Haven Grays were formed. Today the memorial continues to serve as an active National Guard Reserve Unit.
Description: Dedicated to: The Oldest Malitia Unit In Texas.Serving in all wars of the United States, from The Texas Revolution To World War II. The 141st fought in the Meuse Argonne Campaign in WWI. The Monument is located in the 36th Infantry Division Plaza and was erected in 1991 by the San Antonio Chapter of the 36th Division Association.at the intersection of E. Market Street and Losoya St./Alamo St. It is on the street just above San Antonio’s world famous River Walk. The monument is also about two blocks from the famous Schilo’s Delicatessen, a San Antonio landmark since 1917.
700 19th St (VA Hospital)
Erected by the Mortimer H. Jordan Chapter of the Rainbow Division Association.
The American Legion Harvey W. Seeds Post No. 29 erected this memorial to the World War veterans who died in the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. It is located in Section 2A of Woodlawn Park North Cemetery. The memorial sits atop a mass grave of five parallel trenches, originally containing 90 identified bodies (81 veterans, 9 civilians) and 19 unidentified bodies; 109 altogether. Four veterans were later exhumed. 70 of the remaining veteran graves are marked, most since 2015. The burial with full military honors took place on September 8, 1935.
The Merci Train was a train of 49 French railroad box cars filled with tens of thousands of gifts of gratitude from at least that many individual French citizens. They were showing their appreciation for the more than 700 American box cars of relief goods sent to them by (primarily) individual Americans in 1948. The Merci Train arrived in New York harbor on February 3rd, 1949 and each of the 48 American states at that time received one of the gift-laden box cars. The 49th box car was shared by Washington D.C. and the Territory of Hawaii. Parades and ceremonies of welcome were conducted in the state capitols and major cities of almost all the states.
The 40/8 designation refers to the fact that during World War 1, each box car could handle either 40 soldiers or 8 horses as troops, horses and supplies were shipped to the front lines.
The symbol of the Merci Train to the right, shown next to the French flag, is a frontal view of a steam engine with flowers on the pilot which are symbolic of Flanders Field, where many American "Doughboys" from WW1 are buried. The drawing was adopted as the official symbol of the French Merci Train Committee, and a plaque of the drawing was placed on each of the Merci box cars. The committee also had gift tags made bearing the symbol, and one accompanied each of the more than 52,000 gifts that came in the box cars.
Front: (Names of 590 men are listed in 9 columns.)
32nd Red Arrow Division
After American entry into World War I in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson ordered all of Michigan's National Guard to Camp Grayling. Eight thousand of these troops then went to Texas where they joined Wisconsin soldiers to form the 32nd Division. Arriving in France in 1918 the division earned the name "Red Arrow" for its swift assaults through German lines. During World War II the 32nd Red Arrow Division fought courageously in the Pacific Theatre and received a commendation from General Douglas MacArthur.
Inside the 5th Regiment Armory in Baltimore is a Maryland Museum of Military History. Although the armory is usually closed to visitors, the building's facade is home to a number of WW1 memorials.
Veterans Park Drive
This 75mm field gun is a modification of a French gun that was designed in 1917. The 75mm was the most effective light field gun in W.W.I. It was also used against infantry, tanks, and other armored targets in W.W.II.
This gun is 17'-3" long, and weights 3,400lbs. Its range was 13,870 yards, and fired 6 rounds per minute. The 75mm shell weighed 19lbs., and could be fixed, high-explosive, chemical, smoke, or armor-piercing.
The 105mm has now replaced the 75mm gun as the light artillery weapon.
Camp Sheridan site, 3 Johnson Ave.
"The 9th Infantry Division was organized on 18 July 1918 at Camp Sheridan for service in World War I. When the War ended, 11 November 1918, deployment of the Division to France was canceled and it was demobilized of 15 February 1919." -Alabama Historical Association marker, 1993.
A monument dedicated to A Bartlett King 107th Engineers 32nd Division who died in France October 7th 1918. He was the former leader of Boy Scout Troop No.1 in Marquette MI. This monument was built by the Boy Scout Troop on Sugarloaf Mountain near Marquette MI. A short .5 mile hike up to the Sugarloaf Mountain look out also yields great views of the Lake Superior shore line and Marquette MO.
There are 2 trails one easier with steps and one more difficult. The trail head is located off County Road 550. About 3 miles north of Marquette.
"I've attached the pic associated with the World War One Memorial at Ada, Minnesota. Since it's dedication (date unknown) other sides of the base have had plaques added listing the fatalities from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam."
-Mr. Johannes R. Allert, M.A., CTL
Near 524 Berne St
July 28, 2002
Aviator Park, Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 20th Street
Photo and description courtesy of the Association for Public Art
This bronze "celestial sphere" is dedicated to the aviators who died during World War 1. It also illustrates the signs of the zodiac and is inscribed with the Latin names of the constellations and planets. The sculpture is located opposite the main entrance of the Franklin Institute.