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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 Cenotaph - Morristownzoom
Municipal Building Plaza, 110 South Street
Joseph Nicolosi

This monument consists of an oblong granite base and a vertical granite slab adorned on the front with a bronze relief of a female figure representing Winged Victory.  She stands with her leg, hand & wing extended over the heads of a group of marching World War I soldiers.  She holds a palm frond in her right hand.  She is barefoot & dressed in a sleeveless, ankle-length robe with armor on her upper torso.

The monument was installed by the city to honor the Morristown men who died in WWI.  It was dedicated in 1928, on the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice.  The monument & its setting were designed by John R. Brinley & John S. Holbrook, civil engineers of Morristown. 

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000354. 

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

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WWI Memorial Gates - Ocean Grovezoom
Route 71 & Main Street
Ocean Grove
L. Manning & Sons

The memorial entry gates to Ocean Grove flank Main Street at the corner of Route 71. The two posts are set on concrete bases and have shafts marked with a series of squarish and oblong brick panels in the center of each side.  The remainder of the gateposts are sheathed in sandstone. The shafts are topped with capitals made of two stone slabs. Copper & frosted glass cylindrical lanterns sit atop the capitals. 

A bronze plaque mounted on the west side of the south gatepost identifies the gateposts as a memorial to those who fought in World War I.

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

WWI Memorial Honor Roll - Cranfordzoom
350 Springfield Avenue
L. Manning & Sons

Originally located in Josiah Crane Park, where it was dedicated in May 1920, the monument was relocated to Memorial Park in 1958. The Cranford monument consists of two vertical, smooth-faced granite slabs set on horizontal granite slab bases - one commemorating WWI, the other, WWII.  Both slabs contain a large bronze plaque listing all of those individuals from Cranford and vicinity who served in the wars. The WWI plaque is surmounted by a bronze, double-headed eagle with outstretched wings, perched on rocks.

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

WWI Memorial Honor Roll - Point Pleasantzoom
Freedom Lane & Baltimore Avenue
Point Pleasant

This monument consists of an iron cannon placed on a brick & concrete gun carriage.  The carriage has brick walls.  A bronze honor roll plaque is attached to one wall and lists the names of Point Pleasant residents who served in World War I.

Dedication of this plaque occurred in July 1925 with remarks by Rev. Isaac Whitaker of the  Central ME Church.  Two little girls did the unveiling - Jean Baum, age 4 & Aldyth van Camp, age 3. 

Photo courtesy of: RC & Historical Marker Database


Dedication of World War I Monument in Post Office Plaza, 1925

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WWI Memorial Park - Chathamzoom
Public Library, 214 Main Street

The World War I memorial in Chatham includes a small park & honor roll plaque, incorporated with plaques commemorating other wars.  The bronze plaque rests on a boulder located within a small plaza backed by a low, brick wall next to the public library. 

The grassy area to the west of the library is designated a memorial park commemorating those who fought in the Great War.  A bronze plaque mounted on a boulder indicates the park was dedicated on July 5, 1920; rededicated in 1997. 

Photos courtesy of NJ State Historic Preservation Office

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WWI Memorial Park - Metuchenzoom
Metuchen Memorial Park, Lake Avenue

Metuchen's triangular Memorial Park was established shortly after World War I to honor the local residents who fought in the war.  Today, it has been refurbished, and commemorations placed for those who fought in subsequent wars as well. 

The original park contained a center monument and flag pole surrounded by a circular hedge.  On the base of the flag pole were affixed three bronze plaques - the center dedication flanked by the alphabetical Honor Roll of local WWI soldiers (see vintage photo). 

Today, the park consists of a grove of trees, each honoring local soldiers from all 20th century wars, planted where the flag pole once stood.  The bronze plaque honor roll has been mounted on an angled concrete base set at a 45-degree angle.  Two square, flanking gateposts of rusticated concrete blocks with a concrete slab form the entrance to the arbor grove behind the honor roll. 

Vintage photo courtesy of:  New Jersey State Archives
Photo of bronze plaque triptych courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office
Photo Credits:  Sheena Chi

WWI Memorial Sgt. Ralph Lester - Westwoodzoom
Veterans Memorial Park, Washington Avenue & Madison Avenue

This is one of two WWI monuments in Westwood, NJ.

This WWI memorial consists of a small rectangular plaza dedicated to the memory of Westwood resident, Sgt. Ralph W. Lester.  It includes an interpretive panel flanked by two low concrete benches positioned around a VFW logo floor tile.

Sgt. Lester enlisted in June 1917 & left for France in May 1918.  He was killed by an nearby exploding shell in the battle of Ronssoy, France.  His body was never found. 

Photos courtesy of:  Bill Coughlin & Historical Marker Database

WWI Memorial Veterans Memorialzoom

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
WWI Memorial- Boulder County Courthouse zoom
1777 6th St, Boulder CO 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
WWI Monument & Howitzer - Scotch Plainszoom
Park Avenue & Front Street
Scotch Plains

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

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
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
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

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
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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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 


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