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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.

 

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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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WWI Monument - Totowazoom
Veterans Memorial Park, Totowa Avenue & Union Boulevard
Totowa
NJ
USA
07512

This monument consists of an irregular glacial boulder, with a bronze plaque recessed in the front surface.  The rectangular main portion of the plaque consists of an honor roll recognizing Totowa residents who served in World War I.  The arched upper portion of the plaque features a central shallow raised sculpture featuring a winged Victory figure flanked by uniformed soldiers. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
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WWI Monument - Union Beachzoom
Veterans Park, Front Street & Florence Avenue
Union Beach
NJ
USA
07735
LL Manning & Son

This monument consists of a granite doughboy statue standing at parade rest, atop a tall rusticated grey granite plinth.  The front is inscribed with the words, "Lest We Forget."  The uniformed figure holds his rifle in front with hands grasping the barrel. 

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

The monument is placed in a newly built veterans plaza on the banks of Raritan Bay. 

Photos courtesy of NJ State Historic Preservation Office 

 
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WWI Monument - Veronazoom
600 Bloomfield Avenue
Verona
NJ
USA
07044
1924

This World War I monument sits in the center of a municipal oval in front of the public library & an elementary school.  It consists of a bronze doughboy statue atop a stone pier.  Attached to the pier is a vertical rectangle bronze plaque with an honor roll of Verona's citizens who died in the war. 

The statue's artist is unknown, but the foundry was JM Fiske & Co. - a preeminent monument maker in New York City in the late 19th & early 20th centuries.  A duplicate of this sculpture is in Bronx, NY and is currently being restored by the NYC Parks Department after taking molds of the Verona statue for replication.  Plans are to install the Bronx statue opposite Yankee Stadium. 

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) & myveronanj.com. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
WWI Monument - West Orangezoom
Municipal Builidng, Main Street & Northfield Avenue
West Orange
NJ
USA
07052

This monument appears to be a recent replacement for an original memorial.  It is composed of a smooth-faced granite slab & base.  The slab has lower corner scroll decoration & a curved top.  Mounted to the front is an elaborate bronze panel topped with central shield and numerous other military symbols.  The plaque honors West Orange residents who served in WWI.

Photo courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
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WWI Monument - Westwoodzoom
Veterans Memorial Park, Washington Avenue & Madison Avenue
Westwood
NJ
USA
07675

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

The monument consists of a rusticated granite stele placed on a rusticated concrete base. The stele, rounded at top, features a bronze honor roll plaque with a raised frame & curved upper edge.  This plaque contains the names of Westwood residents of who served in the war. 

Photos courtesy of: Michael Herrick & Historical Marker Database

 
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WWI Monument - Whartonzoom
South Main & Union Streets
Wharton
NJ
USA
07885
1931

This World War I Honor Roll monument contains the names of 104 men from Wharton, NJ who served in the war.  Nine of the men died in the war; their names are commemorated by a star. 

The bronze plaque is mounted on a rough stone column, set atop a pedestal of rounded stones.  The monument sits in the middle of a triangular park. 

Photos courtesy of Morris County Heritage Commission 

 
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WWI Monument POSA - Bridgetonzoom
Bridgeton City Park, Mayor Aitken Drive
Bridgeton
NJ
USA
08302

After World War One, the Patriotic Order of Sons of America (POSA) in Bridgeton, NJ planted an avenue of trees to honor the Cumberland County war dead.  A monument was erected of a Gothic-arched, stone canopy containing a bronze plaque honor roll, explaining the memorial. 

The canopy is constructed of random courses of mortared stones with oblong stone voissours outlining the four sides with arch springs.  The canopy is crowned by two courses of horizontal stone & a top course, set vertically. 

The plaque is mounted to the face of an irregular stone slab.  The names of the soldiers are introduced with the following text:  "This avenue of trees is planted by the POS of A as a living memorial to those heroes from Cumberland County District No. 1 who died int he services of country and community during the Great World War, 1917-1918." 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
WWI Pearl Street School Plaque - Bridgetonzoom
Veterans Park, Mayor Aitken Drive
Bridgeton
NJ
USA
08302

This metal plaque was originally mounted on Bridgeton's Pearl Street Elementary School, which has since been demolished.  It is now located on the ground in front of another World War I monument in Veteran's Park (see entry for Patriotic Order of Sons of  America monument in Bridgeton, NJ). 

Mounted on a concrete slab, the plaque reads, "In memory of Pearl Street School students who gave their lives in the World War 1914-1918." 

Photo courtesy of: Erik Burro

 
WWI Roll of Honor - Hasbrouck Heightszoom
Terrace & Passaic Avenues
Hasbrouck Heights
NJ
USA
07604
http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=47583
1919

This monument consists of a rusticated granite stele mounted on a granite base.  Three large, bronze plaques are mounted to the sides of the monument. The front plaque depicts a bas relief image of Liberty holding a laurel wreath.  The plaque contains the dedication to Hasbrouck Heights residents who served in World War I.  Plaques on two sides contain the Honor Roll. 

Photos courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office 

 
WWI Roll of Honor - Westvillezoom
Thomas West Park, Delsea Drive
Westville
NJ
USA
08093

This monument consists of a quarry-faced granite slab, with an elaborate bronze plaque attached to the front.  An eagle in relief, with spread wings, rises above the top of the frame.  The honor roll lists the names of Westville residents who served in WWI.

The monument is placed near the front of Thomas West Park, located on Delsea Drive. 

Photo courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
WWI Soldier & Sailor Memorial - Weehawkenzoom
Hamilton Park, Boulevard East & Hudson Place
Weehawken
NJ
USA
07022

Two full-length bronze figures flank a square granite column. The figure on the left is a WWI sailor. He is dressed in uniform and wears a sailors cap. He holds a rifle in front of him with both hands placed on the barrel of the gun. The butt of the gun rests on the ground in front of him. The figure on the right is a WWI doughboy. He also wears a uniform and helmet and holds a gun in the same position.  Both figures stand with their backs to the monument column on granite bases which rest flush against the column.

The capitol of the column is decorated with bas-relief elements.  A bronze eagle, perched on an olive branch with wings outspread, is centered on the front & back faces of the column.

This memorial is dedicated for her 21 sons who made the supreme sacrifice in WWI.

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000584. 

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

 
WWI Soldier Cooperstownzoom
Pine Blvd. and Lake St.
Cooperstown
NY
USA
13326

A huge bronze WWI infantryman stands with his rifle held hor­izontally in both hands at his waist. He wears a helmet and has packs and a water bottle. Beneath is a granite boulder the back of which is engraved with the names of the 489 men and 10 Army nurses from Cooperstown who served in WWI. On the front of the base are the names of the 54 who died. It was sculpted by Gerald D. Horn and completed in about 1920.

 
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WWI Soldiers Monument - Madisonzoom
James Park, 36 Park Avenue
Madison
NJ
USA
07940
1926
Hoggson Brothers

This monument is dedicated to the servicemen of Madison, NJ who fought and died in World War I.  A large bronze eagle with wings stretched upward rests atop an octagonal granite pedestal. 

Four bronze plaques are placed on the sides of the granite base - the front lists those who died in the war; the other three honor rolls list the names of 324 residents who served. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office 

 
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WWI Veterans Memorialzoom
Battle Ground
IN
USA
47920
Unknown
 
WWI Veterans Monument - Milfordzoom
WE Thomas Park
Milford
NJ
USA
08848

This monument consists of a rusticated pink granite slab, with a bronze honor roll plaque mounted in its center.  This plaque features a raised frame and an eagle with spread wings decorating the upper section, with its wings and a portion of its head projecting above the top of the frame. The lower portion is reserved for the honor roll listing the Milford residents who served in World War I. 

Photo courtesy of: Alan Edelson & Historical Marker Database

 
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WWI War Memorial - Collingswoodzoom
Knight Park, Collins & Park Avenues
Collingswood
NJ
USA
08108
1921

This monument is constructed of rusticated pink granite.  Its base consists of two slabs with the upper face of the smaller second slab angled inward to meet the bottom edges of the battered granite pier that comprises the bulk of the monument.  The pier is surmounted by a ball resting on a base slab.  A bronze eagle. with head to the side and wings open. sits atop the ball.  A bronze plaque topped by a fleur-de-lis motif & garlands is placed in the center of the front face of the pier. This plaque commemorates Collingswood residents who served in World War I. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
Wyoming State Capitol Roll of Honorzoom
200 West 24th Street
Cheyenne
WY
USA
82001

This wooden engraved plaque lists the names of local servicemembers who lost their lives in WW1. It is located in the main entrance hallway of the capitol building.

 

Photo and description courtesy of waymarking.com

 
Wyoming State Veterans' Home All Wars Memorialzoom
700 Veterans Ln
Buffalo
WY
USA
82834

Photos courtesy of Some Gave All War Memorials Blog.

 
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Yale Alumni War Memorialzoom
Milford
CT
USA
06460

The memorial consists of three parts: the colonnade, entablature and cenotaph.

The entablature contains the names of the major battles in which American troops fought in western Europe.

The cenotaph--the only one in New Haven--features the inscription, "In Memory of the Men of Yale who true to her traditions gave their lives that freedom might not perish from the Earth, Anno Domini 1918."

The memorial was designed by Thomas Hastings and Everett Meeks, and was paid for by Yale Alumni--no university funds were used.

Dedicated on June 19, 1927.

 
Yarmouth Port World War I Memorialzoom
Town Green, SR 6A and Strawberry Lane
Yarmouth
MA
USA
02675

A granite boulder serves as a base for a rectangular bronze relief plaque sculpted by John P. Pramino. It depicts a standing Grecian woman with extended arms, wearing a long gown and sandals and holding a laurel in each hand. Each arm rests on a slightly raised col­umn bearing a list of names of the men of Yarmouth who served in WWI. It was created by the Yarmouth Grange and dedicated on Sep­tember 4, 1926. Only the boulder survives.

 

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