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Monuments & Memorials

"The centennial of World War One offers an opportunity for people in the United States
to learn about and commemorate the sacrifices of their predecessors."

from The World War One Centennial Commission Act, January 14, 2013

DCWorldWarMonumen 1World 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.

Memorial Hunters Club

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.

 

Bill Brown Post Memorialzoom
Greenstreet
Brooklyn
NY
USA
11203
November 18, 1986

 

  • FOR GOD AND COUNTRY / IN MEMORY OF THOSE / WHO SERVED / IN THE ARMED FORCES / OF OUR COUNTRY / BILL BROWN POST NO. 507 / AMERICAN LEGION /
 
Binghamton World War I Memorial to Marineszoom
Memorial Bridge
Binghamton
NY
USA

On the four bridge abutments are metal plaques honoring four branches of the military who participated in WWI. At the southeast are three infantrymen charging ahead, one down and one throwing a grenade. At the northwest, there are four biplanes amidst clouds. At the northeast are five artillery soldiers firing a cannon. At the southwest are two warships with smoke billowing from their stacks. These plaques were placed here in 1925 by the city as a tribute to Broome County citizens who served in WWI and in all other Amer­ican wars.

 
Bishop –- American Veterans Memorialzoom
Corner of US Highway 441 and Old Bishop Road
Bishop
GA
USA
30621
Erected on July 6, 2003 by the AMVet Post 10 and Auxiliary

“In Honor of All American Veterans Who Served During Wars in Defense of Their County 1917 - 2003"
 
Black Tom Explosion Memorials - Jersey Cityzoom
Jersey City
NJ
USA
07305

There are two memorials for the Black Tom explosion - one at Liberty State Park in NY Harbor; the other, a stained glass window at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in Jersey City. 

Black Tom was an island in New York Harbor, next to Liberty Island, that received its name from an early African American resident.  By 1880, a railroad connected it to Jersey City & it began its use as a shipping depot.  By 1916, its mile-long pier housed a depot and warehouses for the National Dock & Storage Company. 

In 1914 Imperial Germany sent Count Johann von Bernstorff to be its new ambassador in Washington D.C. But von Bernstorff's staff of diplomats were not all as they seemed for these bureaucrats were a veritable army of undercover spies and saboteurs, arriving with millions of dollars to aid the German war effort by sabotage and illicit destruction.

Among their principal targets were the endless supplies of munitions that the neutral US was selling to Great Britain and France. In 1916, over 2,000,000 tons of explosives were in storage on Black Tom, ready to sail across the Atlantic. The island soon caught the attentions of von Bernstorff and his saboteurs.

On the night of July 30, 1916, Black Tom island disappeared. Just after 2 am, slow burning pencil bombs planted by the German agents ignited an explosion so colossal it registered 5.5 on the Richter scale. As glass windows shattered in Times Square and St.Patrick's Cathedral, the blast shook the Brooklyn Bridge and was felt as far away as Philadelphia and Maryland. The Statue of Liberty felt the full blast and was showered with shrapnel, exploding bullets and shells.  

Federal investigations named two guards at Black Tom as the likely culprits; the guards turned out to be German agents Kurt Jahnke and Lothar Witzke, but both escaped. An explosion in 1917 at the Mare Island naval shipyard in Vallejo, CA was also attributed to them. When the US finally responded to German's secret war of attrition by declaring war in 1917, Jahnke and Witzke fled to Mexico.

Black Tom Island was reconstructed with landfill and is today the southeastern part of Jersey City's Liberty State Park. Today the park is a popular recreation area, with families taking advantage of the close up views of the Statue of Liberty. But in the corner of the picnic area is a simple plaque, often passed by, which reads, "You are walking on a site which saw one of the worst acts of terrorism in American history."

It is not known exactly how many people died or were injured in the explosion. Possibly, the congregation of Our Lady of Czestochowa were hit hard, which led to the commemorating of the attack with their stained glass window memorial.

The Lehigh Valley Railroad who owned Black Tom Island sought compensation against Germany, who settled on a payment of $50 million which was finally paid as recently as 1979. 

The attack may be long forgotten and little known, but it has an ongoing repercussion.  Structural damage caused by the explosion is the reason today's visitors to the Statue of Liberty are prohibited from going up into the torch.  It has been closed to the public since that fiery evening. 

Narrative adapted from Atlas Obscura website. 

Photos courtesy of: 
Memorials - Luke J. Spencer, Atlas Obscura
Vintage photos - NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks & Forestry

 
Blackford County WWI Monumentzoom
Hartford City
IN
USA
47348
September 28, 1921
Ernest Moore Viquesney
This monument includes the Blackford County World War I Honor Roll as well as one of sculptor E. M. Viquesney's "Spirit of the American Doughboy" sculptures.
 
Bleckley Co. – Cochran – Flame of Freedom Memorialzoom
112 Second Street
Cochran
GA
USA
31014
http://www.bleckley.org/
March 15, 1969
Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch

Flame of Freedom Monument on courthouse grounds.

Inscription:  “ Presented By Bleckley County and the American Legion Honoring Veterans of All Wars, March 15, 1969, Rededicated Memorial Day 1991”.

The WW1 portion of this monument contains the names of 7 service members.

 
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Blooming Grove Memorial Tabletzoom
29 West Main Street
Washingtonville
NY
USA
10992

"This Tablet is Erected in Honor of the Men and Women of the Town of Blooming Grove who Served Their Country in the World War and in Memory of Those Who Gave Their Lives 1917-1919"

 
Blount County Veterans Memorialzoom
220 2nd Ave E
Oneonta
AL
USA
35121
November 11, 1992
Erected by the American Legion & Auxiliary, Disabled American Veterans & Auxiliary, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars & Auxiliary.
 
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Bluffton Veterans Parkzoom
Bluffton
IN
USA
46714
Unknown
 
Bolton Landing War Memorialzoom
4966 Lake Shore Rd.
Bolton
NY
USA
12814

This bronze WWI doughboy is depicted as running with a rifle in his left hand, with his right hand raised. Beneath is a square base of granite blocks. It was sculpted by John Paulding and dedicated on July 4, 1921, honoring the three men of Bolton who died in service in WWI, and the total of 70 who served.

 
Bonhamtown-Nixon War Memorial Parkzoom
Edison Senior Citizens Center, 2959 Woodbridge Ave
Edison
NJ
USA
08837

Here there are two monuments to the local veterans. The WWI Monument consists of a tall white stele flanked by two wings, all en­graved with approximately 200 names of veterans. The Vietnam War Monument is a small upright slab, listing eight local citizens who served in the war.

 
Boone County Courthousezoom
100 N Main St.
Harrison
AR
USA
72601
No additional information at this time.
 
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Boone County Courthousezoom
100 N Main St.
Harrison
AR
USA
72601
Courthouse for Boone County, Arkansas.
 
Boone County Memorial Benchzoom
100 N. Main Street
Harrison
AR
USA
72601

No additional information at this time.

 
Boone County Multi-War Memorialzoom
Lebanon
IN
USA
46052
 
Boone County Veterans Memorialzoom
East Ulen Drive
Lebanon
IN
USA
46052
2009
 
Display the map      
Boonsboro WWI Memorialzoom
21 N. Main Street
Boonsboro
MD
USA
21713
 
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Borough Hall World War I Tabletszoom
67 Mulberry St
New York
NY
USA
10013

 

  • 1. THIS TREE IS DEDICATED TO / THE MEMORY OF / CORP. JEREMIAH P. FERETTE / CO. D. 106TH INFANTRY / WHO DIED IN THE WORLD WAR/1914-1918

    2. THIS TREE IS DEDICATED TO/THE MEMORY OF 1ST. SGT. LYMAN HOLDMAN/CO. H 369TH INFANTRY / WHO DIED IN THE WORLD WAR/1914-1918

    3. THIS TREE IS DEDICATED TO /
    THE MEMORY OF / 1ST. CL. PRIV. DAVID MILLER/BAT. F. 59TH COSTART. KILLED IN / ACTION 1918 / WHO DIED IN THE WORLD WAR / 1914-1918

    4. THIS TREE IS DEDICATED TO / THE MEMORY OF / CHARLES R. RICHARDSON / CO. H. 113TH INFANTRY / WHO DIED IN THE WORLD WAR/1914-1918
 
Boundary County Veterans Memorial Parkzoom
6370 Kootenai St
Bonners Ferry
ID
USA
83805

This memorial park contains three monuments honoring the veterans and fallen servicemembers of Boundary County and one honoring the explorers who established the "first route of travel and trade across what is now the state of Idaho." The monuments honor veterans of all wars, including WW1. The park is located near the library, with its 100-foot flagpole making it hard to miss.

 
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Bowman Area Veterans Memorialzoom
Bowman
GA
USA
30624
Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
"Dedicated to the glory of God and all veterans of the Bowman community, more especially to these who have given their lives for our nation's cause."
 
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Box Elder County War Memorialzoom
1 S Main St
Brigham City
UT
USA
84302

This memorial is dedicated to the servicemembers of Box Elder County "who sacrificed their lives in the cause of freedom and liberty in the great World Wars." The base of the soldier statue features three bronze plaques: one listing the names of the fallen in both World Wars, one listing the fallen from the conflicts since WW2, and one reading: Freedom Is Not Free: In Solemn Recognition Of The Sacrifices And Leadership Of The Men And Women Of Box Elder County Who Gave Their Lives To Preserve A Free Society, Built The Peace And Gave To Future Generations The Precious Gift Of Freedom.

 
Boyd County NE WWI Memorialzoom
401 Thayer St
Butte
NE
USA
68722

The memorial is located in front of the Boyd County NE Courthouse

 
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Boylen Squarezoom
Melrose
MA
USA

Named in memory of PVT William C.N. Boylen CD.L 101st Infantry 26th DIV A.E.F. killed at vaux. Chateau thierry second battle of the marine July 20, 1918

First Melrose man with the American Forces killed in action in the World War

 
Boys of St. Peters Parish WWI Monument zoom
Mount Clemens
MI
USA
48043
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM577M_Boys_of_St_Peters_Parish_WWI_Monument_Mt_Clemens_MI
1925
Daprato Statuary Company, fabricator

Boys of St. Peters Parish WWI Monument

This monument lists the names of the boys of St. Peters parish in Mt. Clemens, MI. that served their country in The Great War from 1917-1918.

World War I was a global war which took place primarily in Europe from 1914 to 1918. Over 40 million casualties resulted, including approximately 20 million military and civilian deaths. Over 60 million European soldiers were mobilized from 1914 to 1918.

World War I Monument/Joan of Arc (sculpture)
Is described as Full-length figure of Joan of Arc dressed in armor and standing in contrapposto (weight-bearing leg, proper right). She gazes towards sky. Proper right hand grips the pole of a flag or banner; proper left rests on the upper edge of a shield which is balanced upright, tip resting on the ground, behind bent proper left leg. Shield emblazoned with upright sword, pommel down, and crown, flanked by fleurs-de-lis. Figure wears a sword, belted to hips and slung behind legs. Between the feet, a spiked war club lies on the ground.
The statue is made from zinc or lead with a granite base.
Statue: approx. 8 x 2 x 2 ft. Base: approx. 8 1/2 x 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 ft.

An inscription of Deprato Foundry Co. unsigned Founder's mark appears. Other than that there is a bronze plaque (SE Side) which reads;
This Monument erected to perpetuate the memory of the boys of St. Peter’s Parish. Mount Clemens, Mich who served their country in the world war 1917-1918
(then listed are 178 names, of which 5 died and 8 were wounded)

 
Bradley County Courthousezoom
101 E Cedar St #8, Warren, AR 71671
Warren
AR
USA
71671
No additional information at this time.
 

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