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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.

 

WWI Memorial Veterans Memorialzoom
Plymouth
MI
USA
48170

WWI Memorial Veterans Memorial  Plymouth,Mi

The plaque reads:
World War Veterans
This Tablet erected by
The ex-servicman's club of Plymouth
In memory of their comerads whose names
are hereon inscribed and who made the
supreme sacrifice 
- 1914 - In the Wrold War - 1918 -
Myron H. Beals
Walter E. Gordon
Charles Burch
Verson E. Henderson
Charles Chappell
David Oliver
Scott D. Cortrite
Harry J. Ratterbury
J. Edward Tighe

 
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WWI Memorial- Argo Parkzoom
4700 Logan St
Denver
CO
USA
80216
 
WWI Memorial- Boulder County Courthouse zoom
1777 6th St, Boulder CO 80302
Boulder
CO
USA
80302
This memorial was erected in 1935 by Nathaniel Lyon in honor of the World War Veterans of Boulder County.
 
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WWI Monumentzoom
10 Park Way
Lincoln
RI
USA
02865
 
WWI Monument & Howitzer - Scotch Plainszoom
Park Avenue & Front Street
Scotch Plains
NJ
USA
07076
1920

This unusual two-part monument is located in the center of downtown Scotch Plains. It was constructed by the Victory Celebration Committee of Scotch Plains to recognize contributions of the community to World War I. It includes a flagpole and a cannon.

The cannon, made in Germany, was a gift from the United States Government in recognition that Scotch Plains had the largest percentage of over-subscription to the Victory Liberty Loan of any non-banking community in the Second Federal Reserve District. The subscription totaled almost $700,000.

The second part of the monument is an 80' street angle & latticework flagpole. At the base of the flagpole is a bronze plaque listing the 89 residents who served in the war and the 3 who died in combat. 

Narrative adapted from Images of America: Scotch Plains; Richard & Suzanne Bousquet; 1995. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
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WWI Monument - Bayonnezoom
Donohue Park, Dodge & E. Fifth Street
Bayonne
NJ
USA
07002
1921

This World War I monument is a granite obelisk dedicated to the 104 Bayonne men who died in the war.  The square shaft sits upon a rectangular granite base which has a bronze honor roll plaque attached to the front, resting on a rusticated granite slab.  Midway up the tapered shaft are four bronze medallions, one on each side.  Topping the shaft is a bronze orb with an eagle perched on top with outstretched wings. 

The monument was erected by Killeen Park Club, who raised $5,000. 

Following its Armistice Day dedication, the "Hudson Observer" newspaper wrote the following day that several thousands gathered following a parade for the monument's unveiling & dedication.  "At noon business came to a complete standstill for two minutes while the people meditated and prayed."  After the raising of the flag, "several hundred school children gave the salute to the flag."  The dedication ceremony came to a close with the playing of "Taps." 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office 

 
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WWI Monument - Bordentownzoom
14 Walnut Street
Bordentown
NJ
USA
08505
1924
Frank Thompson

Built as a memorial to Bordentown residents who served in World War I, this monument originally sat in the middle of Walnut Street.  Today, it is located on the Post Office property corner, facing Walnut Street. 

It consists of a flat, rectangular granite slab with rusticated edges topped by a tapering quarry-faced, granite slab, square in cross-section. A pyramid of five, bronze cannon balls rests atop the slab, and serves as a perch for a bronze eagle, depicted with wings outstretched.  Bronze plaques on the faces of the slab honor residents who served in WWI and later wars. 

In June 1924, a local committee was formed to plan Bordentown's commemorative monument. Resident Frank Thompson sketched a rendering of a proposed monument and construction began in late October. The memorial was dedicated on Armistice Day 1924 with an address by the noted war correspondent, Dr. Herbert Adams, of Princeton, NJ. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
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WWI Monument - Bradley Beachzoom
Borough Hall, Main Street (Rt. 71)
Bradley Beach
NJ
USA
07720
L. Manning & Sons

This monument consists of a three-level marble slab base. The top slab has a shallow-gabled top and has incised insignias on each side representing the US Army Air Corp, Infantry, Field Artillery & the US Navy. The next stage, square in cross section, has bronze plaques commemorating service of residents in WWI on all four sides. This stage is surrounded by an overhanging square stone slab that serves as the base for a classic stone obelisk with a crowning stone pyramidal top. 

The Bradley Beach monument is situated in the center of a circular, brick plaza in front of the municipal building. 

Photos courtesy of:
NJ State Historic Preservation Office
Plaques - RC & Historical Marker Database

 
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WWI Monument - Cranburyzoom
Two S. Main Street
Cranbury
NJ
USA
08512
1949

This monument commemorates several wars, beginning with World War I.  Adjacent to the Cranbury Fire House, the small plaza contains a granite stele with flanking plain lower buttresses.  It sits in front of two gray granite slabs.

WWI and WWII honor rolls are engraved on the front face of the stele, beneath a horizontal band reading, "Greater Love Hath No Man."  Honor rolls from the Korean and Viet Nam wars are engraved on the two granite slabs on the ground. 

Photos courtesy of NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
WWI Monument - Edgewaterzoom
Route 5 & River Road
Edgewater
NJ
USA
07020
http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=38964
1919
Ettore Cadorin

Located at a major road intersection in Edgewater, Bergen County, the monument consists of two bronze relief plaques mounted to the face of a quarry-faced, stone slab. The plaques were designed by sculptor Ettore Cadorin.

The upper plaque depicts a sailor, soldier, & marine, each dressed in uniform, standing side by side with their arms interlinked. The sailor has a raised right arm and points to a depiction of a ship at sea at the left side of the plaque. The figure at right holds a rifle by its barrel in his lowered left hand.

The lower plaque depicts a seated allegorical female figure, dressed in flowing robes who raises her right arm while holding a flagpole with unfurled flag with her left hand. To the right of the figure is a list of names.

The monument, originally erected to honor veterans of the Great War, now has plaques commemorating service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, as well. 

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000240.

Photo courtesy of:  Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)

 
WWI Monument - Egg Harborzoom
Rt. 30 East & Buffalo Avenue
Egg Harbor
NJ
USA
08215
1920

Situated in a park in downtown Egg Harbor among monuments commemorating involvement in several other wars, the World War I monument is the most prominent of the group.  It consists of a granite, quarry-faced obelisk with tooled corners.  On the front face of the obelisk is vertical rectangle bronze honor roll listing residents who served in the war. 

Photo courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
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WWI Monument - Elizabethzoom
Winfield Scott Park
Elizabeth
NJ
USA
07201

This monument consists of a vertical granite slab with corner shoulders & a top gable resting on a stone slab base.  Mounted to the front of the slab is a bronze plaque with raised frame and a central arch along the top. This arch allows the placement of the Elizabeth City seal at the top.  The plaque contains an honor roll commemorating residents of Elizabeth who served in WWI.

The Elizabeth monument is one of many commemorative monuments placed in the city's Winfield Scott Plaza, a two-block-long park in front of City Hall. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office 

 
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WWI Monument - Florencezoom
Broad & Front Streets
Florence
NJ
USA
08518
1947

The monument commemorates several wars, beginning with World War I.  Placed on a small, oval traffic island, this vertical shaft rests on a flat granite slab.  The shaft is a tapered granite block, square in cross-section, topped by a bronze globe.  Atop the globe is perched a bronze eagle with wings outspread.

A bronze plaque contains honor rolls from both WWI and WWII.  Honor rolls from the Korean and Viet Nam wars are also attached beneath. 

Photo courtesy of NJ State Historic Preservation Office. 

 
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WWI Monument - Glen Ridgezoom
Glen Ridge School, 240 Ridgewood Ave
Glen Ridge
NJ
USA
07028

The World War I monument in Glen Ridge, NJ is an elegant Beaux Arts design, located in front of Glen Ridge School.  It consists of wide granite steps leading up to a raised, semi-circular plaza paved in arcs of stones.  The plaza is bounded by a low, arch-shaped sandstone wall that terminates in sandstone scroll brackets, resting on plinths.  Two stone benches are symmetrically placed on either side of the center line of the wall.  Wall panels are marked with the name & units of local residents who died in the war. 

In the center of the plaza is a flagpole atop a decorative, marble base.  A cylinder sits atop a low square finished granite plinth block.  Each side of the block is engraved with one of four major battles of the war - including Somme, Meuse-Argonne & St. Mihiel.  The cylindrical flagpole base is embossed with shields flanked by spread-eagles with the years of US involvement - 1917 & 1918 - carved on opposite sides.  The cylinder is topped by band moldings, crowned by a stone cap which serves as a base for a a bronze flagpole holder. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office 

 
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WWI Monument - Gloucester Cityzoom
512 Monmouth Street
Gloucester City
NJ
USA
08030

The Gloucester City memorial is located in the east side yard of City Hall, adjacent to Broadway. It is one  of several monuments placed in a small park grouping. The other portion of the memorial, to its south, is a multi-panel all-wars commemorative monument.

It consists of a battered granite pier, square in cross-section. The lower portion of the pier face is rusticated while the upper section is smooth. The upper portion of the pier is marked by bronze plaques indicating the purpose of the monument and the names of city residents who served in World War I. The very shallow, pyramidal, pier top is crowned by a granite ball atop which perches a bronze eagle.

Photos courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
WWI Monument - Hawthornezoom
Borough Hall, Lafayette & Warburton Avenues
Hawthorne
NJ
USA
07506

This monument consists of a rusticated granite slab that rises from a marble base.  A large bronze plaque, mounted to the front of the slab, contains an honor roll of the Hawthorne residents who served in World War I.  The plaque is crowned by a central spread-winged eagle whose talons are anchored in a US shield. In the background are sets of three angled, partially furled flags. 

Photo courtesy of: Michael Herrick & Historical Marker Database

 
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WWI Monument - Jamesburgzoom
Veterans Park, E. Railroad Ave & Stockton Street
Jamesburg
NJ
USA
08831
1920
LL Manning & Son

The Jamesburg World War I monument is composed of a rusticated granite block with a bronze honor roll plaque mounted to its front face.  The upper corners of the block are rounded, with a smaller rusticated square sitting atop.  A granite pillar rises from this base in the shape of an Doric column crowned by yet another small, rusticated granite base with a granite orb resting on top. 

The Honor Roll commemorates those from the community who served from 1917-18. 

Newspaper accounts attribute the monument's fabrication to LL Manning & Son - a Plainfield, NJ monument maker responsible for several of the state's WWI memorials. 

The monument is set in the center of a brick plaza with additional honor roll memorials commemorating later wars. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office 

 
WWI Monument - Jersey Cityzoom
Riverview Park, Bowers Street & Palisades Avenue
Jersey City
NJ
USA
07307
1922

This monument honors the soldiers & sailors of old Hudson City who fought during World War I.  It was installed in Riverview Park by the Dew Drop League of Jersey City with funds raised through public subscription. 

The monument consists of an eagle with wings spread, perched on a ball atop a tall rough granite pillar.  The eagle & ball are painted gold.  The tiered granite pillar base contains two relief plaques. 

The sculpture was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1922. The top dedication plaque was added October 19, 1947. 

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000468.  

Photo courtesy of:  Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)

 
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WWI Monument - Keansburgzoom
43 Church Street
Keansburg
NJ
USA
07734
LL Manning & Son

The Keansburg World War I monument is located on the grounds of Fallon Manor, a senior citizen residence facility.  It consists of a pink granite, Ionic column topped by a black granite orb.  The column rests on a rusticated grey granite base and smaller plinth.  Incised on the column's front face is the dedication, "Erected in memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice in the World War from Keansburg." 

The monument was fabricated by LL Manning & Son, a Plainfield, NJ monument maker responsible for several of the state's WWI memorials. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office 

 
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WWI Monument - North Plainfieldzoom
Veterans Monument Park, Myrtle & Willow Avenues
North Plainfield
NJ
USA
07063
1920

This World War I monument consists of a new bronze honor roll plaque mounted on the face of a quarry-faced stone slab, approx. 6’ tall. The plaque lists the names of North Plainfield residents who died in 1917, and in 1918.  Dedicated in 1920, this memorial was rededicated in 2015.  The plaque is flanked by partially buried mortar shells. 

The boulder also contains honor roll plaques for residents killed in WWII and the Viet Nam War. 

The small, triangular Veterans Monument Park in which it sits was donated to the Borough by developer William White when the surrounding Washington Park neighborhood was created.

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
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WWI Monument - Ridgefieldzoom
820 Broad Avenue North
Ridgefield
NJ
USA
07657
1928

This WWI monument of a bronze doughboy statue rests atop a 28-ton field stone boulder in a small triangular park.  The soldier figure is charging forward holding a rifle with both hands.  He wears a helmet & leggings, a gas mask on his chest, and various pouches strapped to his belt. 

A bronze plaque is affixed to one side of the boulder, dedicating the monument to the sons & daughters of Ridgefield who served in the war.  It was erected by the Ridgefield Exchange Club. 

Narrative adapted from the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS), inventory #NJ000408. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office
Vintage postcard courtesy of:  Rutgers University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives 

 
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WWI Monument - Riversidezoom
Park along Lafayette Street
Riverside
NJ
USA
08075

This stone obelisk monument stands on three base slabs, square in cross-section, progressively smaller as they rise.  A stone cube sits atop this base with bronze plaques on each side commemorating Riverside residents who served in World War I. The obelisk rests on the stone cube, and is crowned by a bronze eagle with wings outstretched. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
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WWI Monument - Rumsonzoom
Victory Park, Lafayette Street & Koff River Road
Rumson
NJ
USA
07760

This World War I monument consists of a gray granite stele whose upper edge is slightly arched, featuring a bas-relief eagle at the top.  The eagle is depicted perched on a laurel branch with outstretched wings.  The stele appears to date to the period following the Great War.  It rests on a sandstone slab. 

Beneath the eagle, a large, contemporary bronze plaque is affixed to the front.  The plaque contains an honor roll of the seven Rumson residents who died in WWI, followed by lists of the local residents who served.  The plaque was created in 1989.

Photo credits:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
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WWI Monument - Rutherfordzoom
Park Avenue & W. Passaic Avenue
Rutherford
NJ
USA
07070
1920

This WWI monument was designed by artist, Edgar Williams, brother of noted poet William Carlos Williams who practiced medicine in his home across the street from the monument's location.  Working with the borough's War Chest Committee, Edgar Williams designed this elegant cast granite column for the intersection of Chestnut Street and Park & Passaic Avenues. 

At its dedication on Memorial Day 1920, Edgar Williams explained the concept behind the monument:

"The monument has a generally vertical mass chosen to indicate, as an old French axiom says, 'a finger pointed to Heaven'… the lower base will contain the records of those who died in the war ... on either side of the tablet are reversed torches, the symbol of lives passed from this earth. Intertwined about the torches are laurel branches indicating glory and honor ... the shaft bears the names of the major engagements which our Rutherford boys took part. At the very top is a tripod from which a flaming light springs. The tripod is a symbol of sacrifice and the flame symbolizes the light which our boys helped give the world; light always pointing upward as the memory of these men who died for their convictions shall always be."

Narrative adapted from "Rutherford: A Brief History," William Neumann, 2008.

Photos courtesy of:  Billy Neumann
Plaque detail - Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)

 
WWI Monument - Toms Riverzoom
101 Hooper Avenue
Toms River
NJ
USA
08753
1975

This monument consists of a bronze plaque on a rusticated granite stone placed on a rectangular granite base. 

It was created by the Veterans of World War I of the USA in 1975.  It was relocated to its current site as part of a larger Toms River veterans memorial are in 1985. 

Photo courtesy of:  Ocean County Cultural & Heritage Commission

 

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