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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.

 

Branch County World War Monumentzoom
Coldwater
MI
USA
49036

Branch County World War Monument

This is a plaque in a park dedicated to several war memorials. It honors those from Branch County, Michigan, who gave their lives in The World War for their country.There are several guns on display as well, demonstrating the various types of weaponry used throughout the years. One pair was dedicated in 1988, honoring those who served.

 
Bremerton High School War Memorialzoom
1500 13th Street
Bremerton
WA
USA
98337

Text on the central granite plaque reads as follows:

 

For Those Who Have Given

Life, Limb and Soul,

So We Might Enjoy

Our Freedom

 

Followed by Images of the Official Seals of U.S. Military Branches of Service:

Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard & Merchant Marine

 
Brigadier General Leonard J. Riley Memorial Holdingzoom
SR 550 Fort Ritchie
Highfield-Cascade
MD
USA
21719

This small collection of military artifacts includes photo albums, uniforms, communications, equipment, and field artillery from WWI, WWII, the Seventh Signal Command, and the action in Grenada. There is also information regarding the historv of the fort itself.
It began as Camp Ritchie in 1926, a camp of the Maryland National Guard. During WWII, it was used for training by the Army's Military Intelligence Division, it was also used by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), training agents in the use of explosives and guns.

 
Bronze statue at Indianapolis Inter. Airportzoom
7800 Col. H. Weir Cook Memorial Dr
Indianapolis
IN
USA
46241

The memorial name is Bronze statue @ Indianapolis Inter. Airport

Information:
Bronze statue @ Indianapolis Inter. Airport. Donation by Weir Cook Memorial Project in memory to Col. Cook

 
Brooklyn War Memorial, Red Hook Doughboyzoom
323 Van Brunt St.
Brooklyn
NY
USA
11231

This memorial, which honors those local heroes from Red Hook who died while serving their country in World War I, was dedicated in 1921. Augustus Lukeman (1872–1935) was the sculptor commissioned by a war memorial committee, which solicited voluntary contributions totaling $10,000 from the citizens of the Third Assembly District for the sculpture. Arthur D. Pickering was the architect who designed the granite pedestal.

The derivation of the term doughboy remains in question. It was first used by the British in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to describe soldiers and sailors. In the United States the nickname was coined during the Mexican-American War (1846–1848), and was widely popularized during World War I (1914–1918) to refer to infantrymen. After the war, in which Americans saw combat in 1917-18, numerous communities commissioned doughboy statues to honor the local war heroes. The Red Hook Doughboy was one of nine such statues erected in New York City’s parks.

The sculptor Augustus Lukeman was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1872, and studied art with the well-known American sculptors Launt Thompson and Daniel Chester French, and at the famous École des Beaux Arts in Paris, France. He had a prolific career, and was affiliated with many arts organizations, including the National Sculpture Society, National Academy of Design, and the Architectural League. In New York City, his works also include the Prospect Park World War I Memorial (1921) on which Pickering also collaborated, and the Straus Memorial (1915) on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Lukeman depicts the doughboy in an active pose, head held triumphantly upright, his hat held aloft, and a rifle slung over his shoulder. Over time the monument suffered from weathering and vandalism. The bronze honor roll tablet was stolen around 1971. In 1972, custody of the monument was transferred to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #5195, located at 321-325 Van Brunt Avenue in Brooklyn. At that time the bronze statue was cleaned, the pedestal recut, and a new honor roll fabricated.

 
Brooks Co. - Quitman - “Brooks County Veterans” Memorialzoom
Quitman
GA
USA
31643
Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
Originally a WW1 monument, now an all wars memorial.  Individual bricks are placed in the plaza, with the names of Brooks County military.  The memorial is sponsored by VFW Post 5659, Quitman, GA.
 
Brower Park World War Memorialzoom
Brower Park, Kingston and Brooklyn Aves.
Brooklyn
NY
USA
11213

Installed in 1919, this stone stele has attached to it a commem­orative plaque. lt was donated by the Albany Heights Patriotic league as a tribute to the men from the Albany Heights District who died in service in WWI.

 
Brown County Veterans Memorialzoom
Nashville
IN
USA
47448
1993
 
Brundidge zoom
164 S Main St
Brundidge
AL
USA
36010
 
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Bullock County WWI Memorialzoom
219 N. Prairie St.
Union Springs
AL
USA
36089
1936
"In Memory of Bullock County World War Soldiers, Erected by American Mothers of National Defenders Chapter, Service Star Legion, 1917-18, Dedicated 1936."
 
Burke Co. -- Otranto Memorial Markerzoom
Burke County Courthouse
Waynesboro
GA
USA
30830
The tablet at the county courthouse is inscribed, “This tablet is placed to perpetuate the memory of Burke County (Ga) men who, in the service of their country in the World War, lost their lives in the sinking of the S.S. OTRANTO, October 6th 1918.”  The names of seven local victims are listed.
 
Burke Co. -– Monument to WW1 Soldierszoom
602 North Liberty Street
Waynesboro
GA
USA
30830
Burke County Courthouse in Waynesboro, Georgia is a Carpenter Romanesque building completed in 1857. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

At the entrance of this courthouse is a plaque in memory of those from this community that lost their lives in the S.S. Otranto sinking, October 6, 1918.
 
Burke County World War Memorial Buildingzoom
103 1st St E
Flaxton
ND
USA
58737

C.A. Pear designed this building and it was constructed by W.M. Nordmann in 1931. The building cost $25,000 and was built using a county mill levy and funds from the City of Flaxton. It is also known now as the Flaxton Memorial Hall. The building was designed with an auditorium, stage, dressing rooms, meeting rooms, bathrooms, a kitchen and dining room, and even a two-cell jail. Today it still serves the community as a center for gatherings and meetings.

 
Bust of World War I Soldierzoom
200 Grand Ave
Oakland
CA
USA
94610

Veterans Memorial Building, Albany, CA; Alameda County, GSA-Building Maintenance, 1401 Lakeside Or., 10th Floor, Oak¬land, CA 94612; Outdoors. Free.
At the south entrance of the building is a concrete bust of a sol¬dier, high on the wall of the building in an ornately decorated niche. The soldier wears a uniform and helmet. It was placed here in 1931. when the building was constructed, to honor the veterans of WWI.

 
Butler County World War I Memorialzoom
700 Court Square
Greenville
AL
USA
36037
 
Butts Co. - Jackson –  Jackson Veterans Memorial Parkzoom
East 3rd and Dempsey Avenue
Jackson
GA
USA
30233
November, 2011
Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch

City memorial park consisting of inscribed black granite.  Names of service members who died in service are inscribed on main tablets.  Eight names from WW1 are listed here.  Names and information of others that served are inscribed on adjacent tablets.  

Inscription:  “All Gave Some, Some Gave All….In This Hallowed Place We Remember The Sons and Daughters of Butts County Who Died So That Liberty Might Live”

 
Cabrillo National Monumentzoom
1800 Cabrillo National Monument Dr
San Diego
CA
USA
92106-3601

1800 Cabrillo National Monument Dr., San Diego, CA 92106-3601 ; Daily 9-5:15. later during summer. Carload $5.00.

This park became a national monument in 1913 and the primary focus is on the explorations of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo In 1542. It became important as a coastal defense site for WWI and WWII, and several remnants of defense facilities can be visited here. On the ocean side off Cathell Rd. arc two Panama mounts which held WWl vintage 155 mm guns that could track and shoot at a moving ship, or he turned toward Mexico in case the Japanese were to attack from that direction.

Also open arc a base line station used in determining the range and position of the enemy for directing artillery fire, and a 60" search ­light installation, where the light rose out of a concrete bunker when needed. The Old Point Lighthouse, built in 1854-55 and uses! for storage and as a radio tower during WWII.

Fort Rosecrans was located here on Point Loma during WWI and WWII, and in November of 1999 a museum exhibit was opened to the public, portraying the stories of the soldiers stationed here. It is located in a small three-room building erected in 1916 as the Army Radio. Visitors can see film clips of the Coastal defense guns being fired. personal memorabilia, a 16-inch shell, and displays explaining the operation of the guns. On site is a library collection of 2,000 volumes relating to the history of the site.

 
Calhoun County World War I Memorialzoom
925 Quintard Ave (median)
Anniston
AL
USA
36201
November 11, 1921
Dedicated by the William Forney Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
 
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Calhoun – Legion Monumentzoom
401 West Line Street
Calhoun
GA
USA
30701
Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch

A monument on the grounds of the Legion post, inscribed “In memory of our buddies who did not come back.”

 
Camp Cody 136th Infantry Memorialzoom
1452 Saddle Bronc Rd Deming New Mexico
Deming
NM
USA
88030
1967

Memorial was removed. Exact location unknown. 

 
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Camp Doniphan Part of Fort Sillzoom
Randolph Road at Currie Road
Lawton
OK
USA
73503

IN JUNE 1917, ON THE PRARIE WEST AND SOUTH OF HERE. ONE OF THE GREAT TRAINING GROUNDS OF THE
FIRST WORLD WAR WAS ESTABLISHED. NAMED IN HONOR OF MISSOURI’S COLONEL ALEXANDER W. DOLIPHAN OF MEXICAN
WAR FAME THE HUGE NATIONAL ARMY CANTONMENT OCCUPIED 1,200 ACRES AND WAS LAID OUT IN MTHE FORM OF A
HORSESHOE, OPENING TO THE EAST. THE MARKER IS AT THE SITE OF THE NORTH ENTRANCE TOL THE CAMP.
FRAME MESS HALLS, STOREHOUSES, CANTEENS AND OTHER FACILITIES WERE ERECTED BY THE SELDEN-BRECK
CONSTRUCTION COMPANY OF SAINT LOUIS. THE REST OF THE CAMP WAS A CITY OF PYRAMIDAL TENTS HEATED BY SIBLEY
STOVES.”JITNEYS” AND A TROLLY LINE PROVIDED TRANSPORTATION TO LAWTON.
INFANTRY UNITS OF THE OKLAHOMA NATIONAL GUARD, PART OF THE 36TH DIVISION COMMANDED BY MAJOR GENERAL
EDWIN ST. JOHN GREBLE, TRAINED IN THE SUMMER OF 1917 BEFORE JOINING THE DIVISIONS TEXAS NATIONAL GUARD
ELEMENTS AT CAMP BOWIE. ON 13 SEPTEMBER THE 35TH DIVISION, COMPRISING THE KANSAS AND MISSOURI NATIONAL
GUARD, AND COMMANDED BY MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM M. WRIGHT, WAS ACTIVATED HERE, CAMP DONIPHAN WAS ITS
HOME FOR THE NEXT SIX MONTHS.
THE 50,000 MEN WHO TRAINED HERE WOULD REMEMBER WITH NOSTALGIA THE WIND, THE DUST, THE HEAT OF SUMMER,
THE COLD OF WINTER IN CANVAS TENTS, THE STRENUOUS DRILLS AND MARCHES, AND THE ENDLESS DIGGING OF TRENCHES,
DUGOUTS, AND ARTILLERY EMPLACEMENTS IN HARD-BAKED SOIL AND HARDER ROCK IN “NO MAN’S LAND” NEAR
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN.
AMONG NOTED MISSOURIANS PRESENT WERE 1ST LIEUTENANT HARRY S. TRUMAN, BATTERY F, 129TH FIELD ARTILLERY,
LATER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND CAPTAIN DWIGHT F. DAVIS, COMPANY L, 138TH INFANTRY, LATER SECRETARY
OF WAR, MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT M. DANFORD, LAST CHIEF OF FIELD ARTILLERY, COMMANDED THE 129TH FOR A PERIOD
HERE. A MARKER ON GRIERSON HILL OVERLOOKS THE ENCAMPMENT OF PRESIDENT TRUMEN’S BATTERY F.
IN THE SPRING OF 1918, TO THE HAUNTING STRAIN OF “OVER THERE;’ THE MEN OF THE 35TH LEFT FOR THE BATTLEFIELDS
OF FRANCE. THERE, WITH THEIR COMRADES-IN-ARMS OF THE 36TH, THEY FOUGHT AND DIED IN THE MEUSE-ARGONNE
OFFENSIVE, ONE OF HISTORY’S MOST DECISIVE CAMPAIGNS.
AFTER THEIR DEPARTURE, CAMP DONIPHAN BECAME A FIELD ARTILLERY BRIGADE FIRING CENTRE, COMMANDED BY
BRIGADIER GENERAL EDMUND L. GRUBER, COMPOSER OF THE “CAISSON SONG.” IN THE LATER YEARS THE SITE WAS AS THE
SUMMER TRAINING CAMP FOR THE OKLAHOMA NATIONAL GUARD.
THIS PLAQUE, TOGETHER WITH THE SIMPSON GUN ON SIGNAL MOUNTAIN THAT OVERLOOKS THE CAMP DONIPHAN AREA, STAND AS
LASTING AND GRATEFUL MEMORIALS TO THE HOST OF BRAVE SOLDIERS WHO TRAINED HERE IN FREEDOM’S CAUSE IN WORLD WAR ONE.

 
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Camp Greene WWI Monumentzoom
Ashley Park
Charlotte
NC
USA
28208

Description:

The monument was erected to honor the men who trained for World War One at Camp Greene. The most striking feature is a tall fluted column with an elaborate carving at the top holding the earth. The column stands on a large granite plinth on a triple base with inscriptions naming all the units stationed at the camp. The south face also has the spinning wheel insignia of the Daughters of the American Revolution above the inscription. It is surrounded by a black wrought iron fence.

 
Camp Merritt Memorial - Cresskillzoom
Madison Avenue & Knickerbocker Road
Cresskill
NJ
USA
07627
1924
Capt. Robert Ingersoll Aitken

In August 1919, Bergen County purchased land for a monument commemorating the role of Camp Merritt during the Great War at the intersection of Madison Avenue & Knickerbocker Road in Cresskill - marking the center of the largest embarkation camp in the US during WWI.  Modeled after the Washington Monument, the obelisk is 65 feet tall and made of granite.  Inscribed on the base are the names of the 578 people who died at the camp, mostly as the result of the 1918 influenza epidemic.  A large carved relief by the sculptor Robert Ingersoll Aitken shows a striding doughboy with an eagle flying overhead.

Set into a large boulder is a copper plaque with a relief of the Palisades, illustrating that the Camp Merritt site was used as an area of embarkation.  The plaque was designed by artist Katherine Lamb Tait.

The monument was dedicated on May 30, 1924.  A crowd of 20,000 heard a dedicatory address given by famed Army General Pershing.

Narrative adapted from Bergen County, NJ official website. 

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

 
Camp Robinson KIA Memorialzoom
704 E. Military Dr.
North Little Rock
AR
USA
72118

This memorial is located on an active military base at the Camp Robinson Chapel.

 
Campbell County War Memorialzoom
500 South Gillette Avenue
Gillette
WY
USA
82716
1955

This memorial, the older of the two in Gillette, honors "all who served our country in time of war" and lists the names of those from Campbell County who gave their lives in World War 1, World War 2, and the Korean Conflict. It is located outside the courthouse.

 

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