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 World War I Memorial in the Greene Street median in downtown Augusta pays honors to veterans of The Great War with the following inscription:
"The men of Richmond County, of every creed and color, who served at their country's call that aggression and lawless force should not dominate the world."
The reverse side of the monument says: What stands if freedom fall? - Kipling 1914
The tall, slender obelisk topped by a figure of an eagle was erected in 1940 by the Richmond County Association.
The "Ivy Division" is a unit with a proud history dating to World War I. In December 1941, the 4th was the first unit assigned to Camp (now Fort) Gordon after its move to Augusta from DeKalb County. The monument lists the many battles in which the soldiers of the 4th distinguished themselves, including:
The 4th was the first unit of US. Troops to land on Utah Beach Normandy France 6 June 1944
This World War I memorial, at the front entrance to Austin High School, consists of a block of Texas pink granite with a bronze plaque affixed, set in a landscaped Texas Lone Star made of Austin Chalk limestone. The plaque reads as follows:
In Honor of the Boys of
AUSTIN HIGH SCHOOL
Who Served in the World War.
William B. Basford
Carl Stone Benedict
Edgar L. Bergstrom
Richard P. Bull
Marvin A. Caldwell
Leroy E. Creaton
Albert S. MacDonnell
Eugene D. Penn
Charles E. Pinckney
Walter T. Scherding
Thomas Roy Taylor
H. Grady Turner
Arthur E. Wilkins
On May 30, 1922, the Austin Reedy Post 97 of the Montana American Legion dedicated a WWl Memorial Statue. It was in honor of the men who died during service in WWl. Austin Reedy was the first war casualty. Some of these men did not die in battle, but were members of the Armed Services at during WWl. All men were from what is now Lincoln County Montana. Libby is the County Seat. The Statue is on the corner of Mineral Ave. and Lincoln Blvd. Since it's dedication it has been a rallying point for parades, speeches and community events. All soldiers originally met at the monument on Decoration (Memorial ) Day and marched to the Cemetery for Remembrance Services.
PLANTED BY / 159 MEMBERS OF THE YOUNG / AUSTRALIA LEAGUE, / AS AN AUSTRALIAN TRIBUTE / TO AMERICA'S GLORIOUS DEAD, / MARCH 14, 1929 /
Photo courtesy of Phil Luciano / Journal Star
This memorial consists of a 25-foot-tall Greco-Roman column with a bronze eagle on top. The column's base contains four bronze plaques listing the names of WW1 servicemembers. For more information about the history and upkeep of the memorial, visit the "101 Things That Play in Peoria" website linked above.
The War Heroes Memorial Monument is on the high school campus, so if you visit, you must check-in with the school office. This is a very moving Memorial Monument to visit. The sculpture is subdued but says more than many larger monuments and memorials I have seen and the sentiments on the granite pillars speak volumes in a very few words.
The plaques on the back side of the Memorial lists the names of island residents who “Made The Supreme Sacrifice” in defense of our nation. As you face the monument, the names on the right plaque were lost in World War 1, Korea and Vietnam. On the left side, the entire plaque lists those lost in World War 2.
Left side: Right side:
THEY FOUGHT HERE WITH
FOR US ONE ACCORD
FOR US WE DO THEM
THEY FELL HONOR
ERECTED BY THE / CITIZENS OF THIS COMMVNITY / IN GRATEFVL MEMORY / OF THE MEN OF THIS VICINITY / WHO SERVED IN / THE WORLD WAR / 1917-1918 / DEDICATED SEPT. 5, 1921 /
A row of granite markers with each inscribed with local deaths for the Korean War, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. Seven names are listed on the WWI stone.
A center stone is inscribed: “Oh Lord, support us all the day long until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in thy mercy grant us a safe lodging and a holy rest and peace at the last”.
A brass plaque mounted on the back retaining wall is inscribed:
“Flame of Freedom” Dedicated to the veterans of all wars from Milledgeville and Baldwin County on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the American Legion. March 15, 1969, Warren & Hawkins Post 523. The American Legion. W.T. Collier, Cmdr., LW. Oden, AJD, Walter B. William, Jr., Mayor.
The Baldwin World War I Memorial is the first monument in the Baldwin Veterans’ Memorial Plaza, and was dedicated on September 2, 1921 in honor of the members of the greater Baldwin Community who served in World War I.
The War Memorial, located at 101 North Gay Street, Baltimore, MD, honors and serves all veterans of Maryland. The building serves as a place of remembrance for fallen soldiers and as an administrative office for veteran’s outreach organizations. The War Memorial Commission was created under both State and City law to operate the War Memorial building. The Commission has custody and supervision of the War Memorial Building and the War Memorial Plaza.
Memorial Park adjacent to old Banks County Courthouse. Plaque inscribed with names from WW1, WW2, and Korea. With Eternal Flame.
The statue is of a WWI Doughboy. It is dedicated to a soldier named Barnett by his mother. He was in the army for 43 days before dying of pneumonia at Ft. Riley KS
This monument has been erected to the lasting memory of those men and women of Barren County who answered the call of their country in the Great War 1917-1918.
This bridge originally carried US-60, but today it has been bypassed by a modern bridge. However, this historic bridge remains in use as a connector for Commanche Avenue, a northbound (one-way) city street. The bridge has been preserved, and an interpretive sign has been placed under the bridge where a trail is located. The bridge features decorative pillars with 10 plaques memorializing more than 800 Oklahomans who served during World War I. The plaques were donated by Frank Phillips of Phillips Petroleum. Plaques and pillars have been restored & refinished.
A base projecting from a large granite obelisk supports a bronze statue of Batavia resident Maj. Gen. Emory Upton dressed in a Civil War uniform. Atop the obelisk is a bronze eagle with outstretched wings, standing on a ball with four mooring rings. It was originally dedicated on August 6, 1919, to honor the soldiers, sailors, and marines from Genesee County. Later, dedications were added for the veterans of WWI, WWII, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Originally Dedicated: 1923
The center grey granite column displays a bronze World War 1 plaque which reads:
THE MEN WHO ENLISTED FROM
IN THE WARS OF OUR COUNTRY
ERECTED BY THE TOWN
1917 WORLD WAR 1918
Followed by the names of the 31 sons of Bath, NH who served in the “World War” including 2
who died in service, noted with a star preceding their name.
Plaques on either side of World War 1 list those who served and those who Made The
Supreme Sacrifice in World War 2 (91), Korea (29) & Vietnam (23). On the back of the
monument are plaques dedicated to those who served and sacrificed their lives in the
Revolutionary War (56), Civil War (124), The War of 1812 (35) and the Mexican War (5).