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.
Causland Memorial Park
Named in honor of Harry Leon Causland, Private, Company I, 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry DivisionNamed in honor of Harry Leon Causland, Private, Company I, 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division“Killed In Action” in 1918, at the Battle of Bantheville Hill, Meuse-Argonne Offensive, France while volunteering to carry ammunition to his comrades. Honored as one of General John J. “Blackjack” Pershing’s “One Hundred Mortals“, he was posthumously awarded America’s second highest medal for valor, The Distinguished Service Cross.
A standing figure of a soldier dressed in his khakis and wearing his helmet. He holds a rifle in front of him with both hands. The base of the sculpture is a shaft flanked by large paneled slabs inscribed with the names of Cecil County men who died in World War I. At the bottom of the base is a row of three steps. At each end of the base, on the front corners, are tapered shafts topped by electric lamps. On the front of the base is a carved eagle.
335 Polly Reed Rd NE
May 29, 2010
Century Tower is one of the most identifiable features of the University of Florida campus. The dream of building a tower began in 1953, when alumni sought funds to construct a monument in memory of students killed in World War I and World War II. The tower also commemorates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the University of Florida in 1853. The fund drive resulted in the construction of the 157-foot-tall tower, completed in 1956.
301 N Washington Ave
This memorial is dedicated to those from Cerro Gordo Co IA who fought in World War One and gave their lives. This memorial is at the NE corner of the Cerro Gordo CO Courthouse in Mason City IA
"An American Legend"
This memorial was dedicated in May of 1986 to honor the members of the Chatham Artillery, a Savannah military unit formed in 1786.
Inscription: “Dedicated May 4, 1986 - To Honor the Members of the Chatham Artillery - Servants of God, Country, State, and Community - Soldiers in War - Patriots in Peace”
Chatham History 1886-1986 (Inscription)
“June 1917 Federalized for WW1. Training at Fort McPherson and Camp Wheeler. As part of the (?)st Division In July 1918 Were Sent to Camp Jackson S.C. And Then To France For Combat Duty With the Allied Forces."
This memorial honors local marines who served from WWII to Beirut.
Initially dedicated November 11, 1947, by the Savannah Detachment - Marine Corps League.
VFW memorial home
The Chattooga County copy of the famous statue originally stood in Circle Park in Trion, but was moved to the VFW memorial home and rededicated in 1988.
“In Honor of Our Boys Who Fought in the World War”
“Their Names May Be Forgotten But Their Deeds Are Recorded in the Annals of Their Grateful Country”.
100 W Main St
Erected by V.F.W. Leah-Rains Post 4652.
500 2nd Ave N
May 26, 1986
651 California Street
10 Council House Rd
Photo courtesy of Forest County Potawatomi
This memorial is inscribed: In Honor of Those Choctaws Who Gave Their Lives in Defense of Our Nation. It is further dedicated to the Choctaw code talkers of WW1. Although Native Americans were not considered citizens during WW1, roughly 10,000 volunteered to serve. Once they reached the front, Native servicemembers were stereotyped as fierce warriors and frequently assigned to dangerous missions. As a result, they suffered casualty rates five times higher than U.S. troops overall.
This tablet erected to perpetuate the memory of those who sacrificed their lives and honoring those who served in our armed forces.
Donor bricks are located on each side of the walkway leading to the Circleville Veterans Memorial in the small park at approximately 115 E Main Street in Circleville, Utah. The memorial is dedicated to all those who have served, with sections for each war since 1865. A statue of a soldier, which can be seen in the picture gallery, stands near the memorial.
This monument was erected to honor the soldiers & sailors of Irvington, NJ who fought in World War I. It depicts a bronze soldier dressed in a military uniform with an open-collared shirt, holding a bayonet in his lowered right hand. In his left hand, he grasps an upright flagpole topped with a small eagle. A partially unfurled American flag wraps around the flagpole.
In the back of the figure, an anvil is placed atop a tree stump and topped with an open book and an oil lamp. The statue stands on an inscribed marble base decorated in its upper portion with a relief of garland leaves.
Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000277.
Photo courtesy of: Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)
523 S 3rd St
This plaque is inscribed with the names of "the boys of the city of Renton who served in the World War" as well as the Bible verse John 15:13: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." A star next to a name signifies "Died In Service," meaning the servicemember was killed in action, died of wounds, died of disease, or died in an accident. The memorial is located in Veterans Memorial Park, south of the Renton History Museum.
350 Commerce St
Erected by the citizens of Clarke County.
Clarke County Courthouse Square
Monument dedicated to the servicemen from Clarke County who lost their lives during World War I. In 2002, a new honor roll tablet was added to replace the previous one that separated the service men based on race. The memorial is a contributing structure to the Grove Hill Courthouse Square Historic District.
25 Court Sq
No additional information at this time.