World 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.
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.
"I've attached the pic associated with the World War One Memorial at Ada, Minnesota. Since it's dedication (date unknown) other sides of the base have had plaques added listing the fatalities from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam."
-Mr. Johannes R. Allert, M.A., CTL
Near 524 Berne St
July 28, 2002
Aviator Park, Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 20th Street
Photo and description courtesy of the Association for Public Art
This bronze "celestial sphere" is dedicated to the aviators who died during World War 1. It also illustrates the signs of the zodiac and is inscribed with the Latin names of the constellations and planets. The sculpture is located opposite the main entrance of the Franklin Institute.
209 2nd St., NW aitkin MN
In Memory Of
17th St & Quintard Ave
100 Overton Access Rd.
Alabama Department of Archives and History, 624 Washington Ave.
November 11, 1940
Jackson Pioneer Cemetery, Section 12, 951
In 1910, Freemasons in the United States created the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association (GWNMMA) to construct a memorial to George Washington somewhere in Alexandria, Virginia. A site atop Shooter's Hill was chosen, and ground for the massive memorial building and tower was broken at noon on June 5, 1922. Laying of the memorial's cornerstone occurred on November 1, 1923. By February 1924, the foundation was complete. To support the tower eight massive granite columns were placed on the floor of the first story. The floor of the second story was built atop them, and eight more massive granite columns placed above the first story columns. The roof of the second floor was supported by this second set of columns. The tower above rested on these second-floor columns. In December 1924, the installation of eight green marble columns (each weighing 11 to 18 tons) occurred on the first floor. Each column was 18 feet (5.5 m) high and 4.5 feet (1.4 m) in diameter, and arrived at Alexandria's Union Station by train from Redstone, New Hampshire. It was provided by the Maine & New Hampshire Granite Corp. One columnar section was damaged, and given to the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). The VFW turned it into a memorial to American war dead, and erected it in front of Alexandria's Union Station in 1942.
Erected in part by Beaverton “Barracks 1760, Veterans Of World War 1”. Dedicated: “August 1980”
Bronze Plaque At Base Of Adjacent Flag Pole Reads
Donated By Beaverton Posts
4617 Veterans Of Foreign Wars
124 American Legion
Barracks 1760, Veterans Of World Wart 1
The Fayetteville County, TX one is a bit more difficult, because the granite monument says one thing, and in actuality, that has been changed. It says the plaques listing soldiers names are inside the courthouse when they have been moved outside and attached to metal stands around the granite monument.
In addition, one of the new ones I am submitting today needs two photos also, because you can not tell from the full photo what you are looking at, because the bronze plaque is mounted flat to the ground and the name plaques are randomly and individuals mounted to a nondescript concrete block.
It is an all wars Memorial Monument in Columbus, TX. It stands in front of the Veterans Memorial Center.
Logan Circle, in front of Franklin Institute off of Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Photos and description courtesy of waymarking.com
The front of this vertical granite monument is adorned with an allegorical female figure representing "Justice" flanked by two groups of three African-American officers, soldiers and sailors representing those from Pennsylvania who served in American wars. The figure of Justice is dressed in long flowing robes and wears her hair pulled back and braided around her face. She stands on a low stepped platform holding up a small wreath in each hand to represent Honor and Reward. The African-American Servicemen are dressed in the uniforms of the various branches of the military. On the back of the monument four allegorical female figures, representing the principles for which wars are fought, flank a bronze tablet. On the proper left of the tablet stands "War" holding a shield and wearing a helmet. Next to her stands "Liberty" carrying a torch and wearing the headdress of the Statue of Liberty. On the proper right of the tablet stands "Peace" carrying a large palm frond. Next to her stands "Plenty" holding a filled cornucopia. The monument is topped with a bronze Torch of Life surrounded by four eagles.
This monument includes E. M. Viquesney's "Spirit of the American Doughboy" and "Spirit of the American Navy" statues and is located at the entrance to Fort Wayne's Memorial Park from Glasgow Avenue.
A large triangular stone is set in a narrow grass island at the South entrance/exit to Sutter Creek. This memorial to the men of Amador County was the original brass plaque placed on the stone. Later plaques were added to the stone commemorating those lost in later foreign wars. The back side of the stone has a plaque for those lost in Vietnam. The stone is multicolored: golds, reds, greens (partly due to moss and lichen). The brass has not been polished in recent years, but it is still easy to read.
When exiting town South on Old Hwy. 49, the WWI plaque is visible, facing the driver on the left side of the road. When entering town, headed North, the stone is to the left with the WWI plaque visible only after you pass. The "Vietnam in Honored Glory" plaque faces those entering from the South.
The following is an account of the dedication of the monument published in the New York Times issue of July 5, 1922:
Roses Fall on Monument:
Jersey City Unveils Memorial for 147 Soldiers Who Fell in War.
A monument to 147 soldiers from Jersey City who fell in the war was unveiled at Pershing Field, Jersey City, yesterday afternoon, as part of Jersey City's Independence Day exercises. A feature of the ceremony was the dropping of roses over the field during the services.
Lieutenant Stanton Weissenborn, a former army air pilot, circled above the crowd for two hours, and at frequent intervals dropped a rose until 147, one for each man who died, had fluttered down and made an immense bouquet at the foot of the monument.
The memorial is a life-size bronze figure of a woman, her arms filled with laurels. It is called, "Triumphant America." It was bought by the people of Jersey City through voluntary subscription.
Julius Beger, Chairman of the Monument Committee, presented the memorial to the Captain E. Fisk Post of the American Legion, and Arthur Liesemgang, post commander, presented it to the city. Lieutenant Louis Van Den Ecker, representing the French Consul General at New York; Dr. Foster Timothy of New York, representing British veterans, and Lieut. Col. Kerfoot, U.S.A., were among those who took part in the exercises.
Photos courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office
This monument was erected in 1925 to commemorate Hoboken's role as the US Army Port of Embarkation during World War I, and honor the 3 million troops who passed through Hoboken's port. The monument contains a bronze tablet mounted to the face of a granite boulder. It was erected by the Hoboken Assembly, Fourth Degree, of the Knights of Columbus.
The current plaque was fabricated in 1978 and paid for by Hudson County. The boulder originally sat on Pier 4 near River Street. It was moved to River Street near Pier B in 1976. In 2002-03, with the completion of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, it was moved to its present location at First Street & Pier A.
Narrative adapted from Hoboken Historical Museum website.
Photo courtesy of: Hoboken Historical Museum
318 S Court St
WWI Field Artillery Piece on the grounds of Morton Grove's American Legion Civic Center
American War Mothers Chapter 3
WW1 Memorial Flag Pole
Located at the Snohomish County Administration Building Plaza
There are several other War Memorials and Monuments at this site including a very large sculpture,
which can be seen on the right side of the gallery picture.
Small block memorial describing the memorial tree as planted in remembrance of those men who served from 1917-1918.
At the right-hand corner of the Tobin Center, when facing it, is a WW1 Memorial that is practically hidden among the landscaping and shrubs of the auditorium. It is near the intersection of Auditorium Circle and Jefferson Street. It is a white marble monument about six feet tall with a prayerful woman (a mother) surrounded on her right side with several "doughboys" wearing WW1 field uniforms, helmets and carrying their rifles with fixed bayonnets. The inscription under this massive carving reads: “Honoring The Mothers Whose Sons Fought In The World War - Erected by San Antonio Chapter No. 2 - 1938”.
The American War Mothers was founded in 1917 and was incorporated by an Act of Congress February 24, 1925. The AWM are a perpetual patriotic, 501(c) 4 non-profit, non-political, non-sectarian, non-partisan organization whose members are Mothers of children who have served or are serving in the Armed Services during a time of conflict.
This often unknown or overlooked organization of mothers has had an impact on our nation and on the welfare of our Armed Service members. This is a worthy war memorial for those from WW1 on up to the present.
Chapter #1 in Maryland, is still operating.
Rees Park, Turner at Rees Streets
The original statue was created in Americus by artist E. M. Viquesney at the behest of the residents of Berrien County, and stands in Nashville, Georgia. The current Americus statue is a copper copy which stood in downtown Americus on Lee at Lamar Streets from 1921 to 1947. More than 150 copies of the popular original from Nashville were mass-produced during the 1920s and 1930s, and stand in communities across Georgia and the nation.
1122 Sunrise Beach Rd
Located in the Maryland State Veterans Cemetery