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.
This is a tall limestone WWII soldier, wearing a helmet, pants tucked into boots, and a uniform shirt and belt. Over his right shoulder is slung a rifle. It is dedicated to the war dead from Swain County in WWI, WWII, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Their names are incised on the marble base.
This memorial monument is dedicated to the fallen servicemembers of Flathead County from the Spanish-American War to the present day. It is located near the old Kalispell railroad depot, in what is now called Depot Park.
A five foot tall white marble statue of a WWI soldier is dressed in a waist-length jacket, helmet, boots and britches. His right arm is raised in the air and he holds a rifle in his left. It was dedicated in about 1926 to honor the Montgomery County men who served in the Spanish-American War and WWI.
A bronze WWI soldier is running over rocks and barbed wire, with his rifle held in the air in his right hand. He wears a helmet and has a knapsack on his back. Beneath is a square granite base with a plaque dedicated to the men who served in the Tenth New York Infantry during WWI.
The 102nd Infantry Regiment Memorial, 26th Yankee Division just celebrated their 100th anniversary on September 9th. The memorial was constructed August 9, 1942 by the New Haven Chapter Yankee Division Veterans Association. The regiment is where the New Haven Grays were formed. Today the memorial continues to serve as an active National Guard Reserve Unit.
This bronze sculpture nearly 10 X 15 X 5 feet in size, depicts seven soldiers charging the front lines during WWI. The three central ones attack with bayonets while the others are wounded and slump. They are arranged as in a pyramid, and beneath is a stepped granite base. It was sculpted by Karl Illava (1896-1954) and dedicated on 66th St. on September 29,1927, to honor the members of this infantry regiment who served in WWI. It was moved to its present site after WWII.
Description: Dedicated to: The Oldest Malitia Unit In Texas.Serving in all wars of the United States, from The Texas Revolution To World War II. The 141st fought in the Meuse Argonne Campaign in WWI. The Monument is located in the 36th Infantry Division Plaza and was erected in 1991 by the San Antonio Chapter of the 36th Division Association.at the intersection of E. Market Street and Losoya St./Alamo St. It is on the street just above San Antonio’s world famous River Walk. The monument is also about two blocks from the famous Schilo’s Delicatessen, a San Antonio landmark since 1917.
The 66th Artillery Brigade was the parent organization of the 146th. It had two assigned Field Artillery Regiments, the 146th and 148th, was the first brigade of the A. E. F. (American Expeditionary Force) to have its regiments become motorized heavy artillery units. The 146th, arriving in their training camp at Camp de Souge, France, (10 miles southwest of Bordeaux) first on January 16,1918, were equipped with the newly manufactured French 155mm (6 in.) Filloux rifles, commonly know as the 155 G. P. F. gun. The 148th arrived there on February 14th and was soon also equipped with these spectacular guns.The 146th Field Artillery Regiment of the Washington National Guardwas originally formed at Fort Walla Walla, WA, there was little or no time to train with as all units once formed were quickly sent to France. Fort Walla Walla served the U.S. Cavalry from 1859 to closing in 1910. The was briefly reopened in 1917 to train A.E.F. Field Artillery Battalions.It wasn’t until they reached France that the Brigade was designated as “Corps Artillery” reporting to either a Corps or the higher unit, the First Army, and assigned the 155 mm G. P. F. Guns. Their combat service was within the First Army, however, when serving in Germany with the Army of Occupation, they were within the Third Army area. As such they worn the Third Army patch on their left shoulder, a white A within a red circle in all of the available pictures
The American Legion Harvey W. Seeds Post No. 29 erected this memorial to the World War veterans who died in the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. It is located in Section 2A of Woodlawn Park North Cemetery. The memorial sits atop a mass grave of five parallel trenches, originally containing 90 identified bodies (81 veterans, 9 civilians) and 19 unidentified bodies; 109 altogether. Four veterans were later exhumed. 70 of the remaining veteran graves are marked, most since 2015. The burial with full military honors took place on September 8, 1935.
The Merci Train was a train of 49 French railroad box cars filled with tens of thousands of gifts of gratitude from at least that many individual French citizens. They were showing their appreciation for the more than 700 American box cars of relief goods sent to them by (primarily) individual Americans in 1948. The Merci Train arrived in New York harbor on February 3rd, 1949 and each of the 48 American states at that time received one of the gift-laden box cars. The 49th box car was shared by Washington D.C. and the Territory of Hawaii. Parades and ceremonies of welcome were conducted in the state capitols and major cities of almost all the states.
The 40/8 designation refers to the fact that during World War 1, each box car could handle either 40 soldiers or 8 horses as troops, horses and supplies were shipped to the front lines.
The symbol of the Merci Train to the right, shown next to the French flag, is a frontal view of a steam engine with flowers on the pilot which are symbolic of Flanders Field, where many American "Doughboys" from WW1 are buried. The drawing was adopted as the official symbol of the French Merci Train Committee, and a plaque of the drawing was placed on each of the Merci box cars. The committee also had gift tags made bearing the symbol, and one accompanied each of the more than 52,000 gifts that came in the box cars.
Front: (Names of 590 men are listed in 9 columns.)
Rear: To The Dead / of the / 307th Infantry A.E.F / 590 Officers and Men / 1917-1919 /
After American entry into World War I in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson ordered all of Michigan's National Guard to Camp Grayling. Eight thousand of these troops then went to Texas where they joined Wisconsin soldiers to form the 32nd Division. Arriving in France in 1918 the division earned the name "Red Arrow" for its swift assaults through German lines. During World War II the 32nd Red Arrow Division fought courageously in the Pacific Theatre and received a commendation from General Douglas MacArthur.
Inside the 5th Regiment Armory in Baltimore is a Maryland Museum of Military History. Although the armory is usually closed to visitors, the building's facade is home to a number of WW1 memorials.
This 75mm field gun is a modification of a French gun that was designed in 1917. The 75mm was the most effective light field gun in W.W.I. It was also used against infantry, tanks, and other armored targets in W.W.II.
This gun is 17'-3" long, and weights 3,400lbs. Its range was 13,870 yards, and fired 6 rounds per minute. The 75mm shell weighed 19lbs., and could be fixed, high-explosive, chemical, smoke, or armor-piercing.
The 105mm has now replaced the 75mm gun as the light artillery weapon.
This 19 foot tall monument was designed by architect Charles W. Stoughton (1871-1945) and installed here in 1924, as a memorial to the veterans of WWI.
This obelisk monument is dedicated to the memory of the members of the 82nd in WWI, WWII, the Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars, and actions in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Panama.
"The 9th Infantry Division was organized on 18 July 1918 at Camp Sheridan for service in World War I. When the War ended, 11 November 1918, deployment of the Division to France was canceled and it was demobilized of 15 February 1919." -Alabama Historical Association marker, 1993.
"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
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.
In Memory Of
Those Aitkin County
Who Lost Their
Lives In The
Northland Chapter D.A.R.
This cast bronze statue of a WWI infantryman has been painted mustard yellow. It depicts him advancing through the stumps and barbed wire of No Man's Land, carrying a rifle and grenade and wearing a steel helmet, gas mask, bag and ammunition belt. Beneath is a granite slab and sandstone base, with a plaque dedicated to the memory of the men and women who served in WWI from Summit County. Other plaques list the 65 men and one woman from the county who died in service during the war. It was installed at the Armory in 1934 and moved to the present site in 1982.