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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.

 

Bowdoin College World War I Monumentloupe
Brunswick
ME
USA
04011

This large flagpole rests in an ornate bronze base, which sits atop a granite memorial. The monument is dedicated to the sons of Bowdoin who lost their lived in World War I, and the various sides of the granite monument are inscribed with an Honor Roll. The inscriptions are finished in gold paint. The monument is located on the main quad, directly in front of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Bowdoin College refurbished the monument in 2014, and added a much larger flag.

 
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Bowman Area Veterans Memorialloupe
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 Memorialloupe
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 Memorialloupe
401 Thayer St
Butte
NE
USA
68722

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

 
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Boylen Squareloupe
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 loupe
Mount Clemens
MI
USA
48043
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 Courthouseloupe
101 E Cedar St #8, Warren, AR 71671
Warren
AR
USA
71671
No additional information at this time.
 
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Bradley WWI Memorialloupe
Bradley
SD
USA
57217

This memorial stands right in the center of Main Street in Bradley, South Dakota.

The concrete base is about 4 feet high with a flagpole attached.

The inscription reads as follows:

Our Honor Roll
Dedicated by the Citizens of Bradley and Surrounding Area to Those of Their Number Who Offered Their Lives in the Great War of Nations 1914 -1918 and In Memory of Those Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice. 

 
Branch County World War Monumentloupe
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.

 
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Braxton County WWI Honor Rollloupe
Sutton
WV
USA
26601

Monument honoring the men of Braxton County who served in the First World War.

 
Breathitt County WWI Memorialloupe
1149 Main St.
Jackson
KY
USA
41339

Adjacent to the Courthouse, this memorial honors all Breathitt Countians who served or paid the supreme sacrifice during World War I.  During the war, Breathitt County attained national prominence by filling its quota of service men by volunteers. No men had to be drafted from Breathitt, the only county in the United States with this record.

The inscription reads:

World War I
April 6, 1917 - November 11, 1918
Dedicated to all Breathitt Countians who served “over there” in the “war to end all wars”. To all those who supported the war effort in any fashion and in memory of the following who gave their lives to make the world safe for democracy.

Marion Adkins · George Baker · George Brewer · Charley Campbell · Jesse Carpenter · Jesse Centers · John Dale · Garfield Deaton · James Fugate · Wm W Gillum · Jarrett Grigsby · Willie Grigsby · Roscoe Gross · Charles B. Hall · Edward Cuerrant Hargis · Robert W. Hill · Joel Lee · Curtis Linden · South McIntosh · James Noble · Willie Oney · Moore Riley · Price Roark · Fred Smith · Ashford Watts · Samuel Wells · Pearl G. Wireman · Linden Wyatt

 
Breckinridge County WWI Honor Rollloupe
208 South Main St.
Hardinsburg
KY
USA
40143

Erected in 1927 by the Breckinridge County Memorial Association, the inscription on this Honor Roll reads:

★ Honor Roll ★
In memory of the Breckinridge County
heroes of the World's War, 1914-1918

George W. Ahl • Johnie Brown • Corbett J. Burch • Walter V. Burnett • Claude E. Cundiff • Earl Curry • Roy Dowell • Henry H. Drane • Joseph Z. Dunn • Lonnie Durbin • James Durbin • William Eskridge • Henry Eskridge • Henry Byron Hall • H. Everette Haycraft • Charles Hanks • Lewis H. Herndon • Thomas Higdon • Henry W. Johnson • Verdie Johnson • Arthur W. Kannapel • James C. Lampton • Willie Lucas • Lennie A. Mattingly • Peter S. McCarty • Neil Moore • Roy E. Moorman • Delbert D. Morgan • Joseph E. Schindler • Clarence H. Tincher • James R. Willis • Fulton Whitworth

 
Bremerton High School War Memorialloupe
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

 
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Bridgewater WWI Honor Rollloupe
Bridgewater
VT
USA
05034

WWI Honor Roll on the grounds of the former Bridgewater Village School, listing the names of the locals who served during the war.

Inscription:
In grateful recognition of the Valor and Devotion of
the young men of this Community
who served in the World War
for Liberty and Justice
1917 – 1919

 
Brigadier General Leonard J. Riley Memorial Holdingloupe
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. Airportloupe
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 Doughboyloupe
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” Memorialloupe
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 Memorialloupe
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 Memorialloupe
Nashville
IN
USA
47448
1993
 
Brown County World War I Memorialloupe
36th Division Memorial Park
Brownwood
TX
USA
76801

Brown County World War I Memorial

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque The Brown County World War I Memorial, honoring those who served, fought, and died in World War I, was placed at Brownwood High School in 1921 with funds raised by the Brownwood HS Class of 1921.  This was a sacred memorial to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War I, the Great War, the War to End All Wars. In 2016, the memorial was restored and moved to a new site in the 36th Division Memorial Park. The restored memorial included the old World War I Memorial along with a new granite tablet with the names of the 39 Brown County veterans who died in World War I, a new plaque with the wording from the old World War I Memorial that had become difficult to read, and another new plaque telling about the original World War I Memorial.  The profound words on the original World War I Memorial were these:                                                                               

To those men from Brown County
Who rendered valiant service in the world war;
Who feared not;
Who believed in the sacred principles
Upon which this republic is founded;
Who preferred death to slavery;
Who signified a willingness to give their lives
And to perpetuate democracy;
This monument is reverently dedicated.

 
Brundidge loupe
164 S Main St
Brundidge
AL
USA
36010
 
Buddy Monument / Richmond Hill War Memorialloupe
Forest Park
Queens
NY
USA
11418
1925
Joseph P. Pollia

In 1923 plans were drawn up for a memorial at the Myrtle Avenue entrance to Forest Park’s main thoroughfare, signifying a new “Memorial Drive,” and 70 pine trees were planted to commemorate those from the neighboring community who died in combat during World War I. This monument, including a sculpture of a soldier, an ornamental flagstaff and bronze honor rolls, honors their valor and sacrifice. A gift of the Richmond Hill War Memorial Committee and the Gold Star Mothers Association of Richmond Hill, the monument was dedicated on November 10, 1925. 

The sculpture by Joseph Pollia (1893-1954) represents a standard infantryman known as a “doughboy.” This name is commonly attributed to the rudimentary biscuits consumed by troops, though 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 Richmond Hill War Memorial is one of nine such doughboy statues erected in New York City’s parks. Pollia’s conception depicts a mournful soldier whose head is bowed in contemplation, his rifle and helmet slung over his right arm. Some observers have noted the resemblance of the subject to silent film star Francis X. Bushman, whom Pollia may have used as a model for the statue. The sculpture has also been referred to as My Buddy.

The monument was designed by William Van Alen (1882-1954), who is best known as the architect of Manhattan’s famed Chrysler Building. Italian-born sculptor Pollia was responsible for nearly two dozen public monuments, and also sculpted in 1936 the statue of General Sheridan in Christopher Park in Manhattan. Pollia sold a second cast of My Buddy to the Storm Lake Service Star Legion in Storm Lake, Iowa, and it was installed in that city’s Chautauqua Park in 1926.

The adjoining flagstaff, dedicated in 1926, includes a pedestal of granite with ornamental bronze elements including decorative waves, garlands and acanthus leaves, as well as ram’s heads. In 1987 the adjacent oval plaza was dedicated to Sergeant Joseph E. Schaefer (1918-1987), a resident of Richmond Hill who distinguished himself in World War II, and in 2001 the City restored the Richmond Hill War Memorial and flagstaff. 

At the dedication ceremony in 1925, Queens Parks Commissioner Albert C. Benninger accepted the memorial on behalf of the City, and the sculpture was unveiled by Mrs. Mathilda Burling, President of the Richmond Hill Mothers Association. The proceedings were disrupted by a rain storm, and were transferred to a nearby auditorium. The chief speaker, United States Senator Royal S. Copeland used the occasion to comment on a proposed government takeover of the coal industry, and commented, “Someone has said that the purpose of government is to protect property…I believe that the people in general hold that the purpose of government should be to protect humanity.” Several generations later, the Richmond Hill War Memorial still stands as a tangible reminder of those who fought in defense of this principle.

 
Buena Vista World War I Memorialloupe
McPhelemy Park
Buena Vista
CO
USA
81211

This small memorial is located in Mc Phelemy Park in Buena Vista, Colorado. The memorial consists of an obelisk with the names of the fallen engraved on the base.

 
Buffalo Soldier World War I Memorialloupe
3816 Caroline St
Houston
TX
USA
77004

Buffalo Soldier World War I Memorial

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque The Buffalo Soldier Museum in Houston is dedicated to displaying and exploring the stories and contributions of African-American soldiers in the U.S. military.  On November 10, 2018, this World War I centennial memorial to the Texas and Houston African-American soldiers who served in the Great War was unveiled, a long overdue tribute to the men and women who served in combat and labour to defend the freedoms abroad that they did not enjoy at home.

 

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