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.
The War Heroes Memorial Monument is on the high school campus, so if you visit, you must check-in with the school office. This is a very moving Memorial Monument to visit. The sculpture is subdued but says more than many larger monuments and memorials I have seen and the sentiments on the granite pillars speak volumes in a very few words.
The plaques on the back side of the Memorial lists the names of island residents who “Made The Supreme Sacrifice” in defense of our nation. As you face the monument, the names on the right plaque were lost in World War 1, Korea and Vietnam. On the left side, the entire plaque lists those lost in World War 2.
Left side: Right side:
The bridge was Federal Aid Project 201; begun in 1922 by the State Highway Department with W.R. Neel as State Engineer; Prayton, Howton, and Wood Contracting Company; and the Pensacola Shipbuilding Company as builders. These contractors gave up after experiencing difficulty establishing permanent foundations. The bridge was completed by the Hardaway Contracting Company and the Atlantic Bridge Company in 1926. It was torn down ca. 1976-1977, and a new bridge was constructed in its place.
The only known memorial to World War I African-American troops from Georgia. The Atlanta Constitution (Jan. 18, 1920) reported it to be the first monument to "colored" citizen-soldiers.
3220 The Alameda
The War Memorial, located at 101 North Gay Street, Baltimore, MD, honors and serves all veterans of Maryland. The building serves as a place of remembrance for fallen soldiers and as an administrative office for veteran’s outreach organizations. The War Memorial Commission was created under both State and City law to operate the War Memorial building. The Commission has custody and supervision of the War Memorial Building and the War Memorial Plaza.
Corner of GA HWY 51 (Historic Homer Highway) and Yonah Homer Road
Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
Memorial Park adjacent to old Banks County Courthouse. Plaque inscribed with names from WW1, WW2, and Korea. With Eternal Flame.
This bridge originally carried US-60, but today it has been bypassed by a modern bridge. However, this historic bridge remains in use as a connector for Commanche Avenue, a northbound (one-way) city street. The bridge has been preserved, and an interpretive sign has been placed under the bridge where a trail is located. The bridge features decorative pillars with 10 plaques memorializing more than 800 Oklahomans who served during World War I. The plaques were donated by Frank Phillips of Phillips Petroleum. Plaques and pillars have been restored & refinished.
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1 E 7th St.
Courthouse for Baxter County, Arkansas.
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Bay City Doughboy Statue by John Pauling
The Doughboy Statue was erected in 1924 after the Bay City Women's Improvement Committee approached the Bay City Commission about erecting a statue in 1923, Brady said. It cost $2,100.
This park contains many different memorials commemorating service in World War 1, including one for submariners and one for Medal of Honor recipients from all wars. The park is also home to many more monuments and memorials unrelated to World War 1, including Oregon's first Vietnam War Memorial.
3220 W. Lang Rd.
Beaverton officials seek funding to conserve the city's unusual WWI memorial -- a relief in concrete (dedicated 1925) by German-born sculptor Helmuth Von Zengen that includes both a dead and a wounded doughboy.
Erected in 1925, the World War I monument "The Survivor" in Beaverton, showing a dead soldier, an injured soldier and a surviving soldier standing with a rifle in hand, needs some extra care after years of deterioration.
"It's a unique statue," Beaverton City Council member Ed Rachwitz said. "It's a special design."
The cement statue was designed and hand carved by a German sculptor and artist, Helmuth Von Zengen. Von Zengen reportedly dated Alva McKimmy and the monument was a tribute to her family members. Jasper and Caroline McKimmy, of Beaverton, had three sons -- Walter, Raymond and Earl -- fight in World War I. Earl died of diphtheria in 1918 while serving, Walter was injured in a 1922 accident and died in 1924, and Raymond died in 1967.
To help preserve the memorial, city officials recently applied for a $2,000 matching grant through the World War I Centennial Commssion, Ed Rachwitz, who is spearheading the endeavor, enlisted the help of Gladwin County residents Scott Govitz, Bruce Guy and Bob Frei to help draft the application. Govitz helped with the drafting while history buffs Guy and Frei provided the background. Rachwitz said the submission included a wealth of history about the statue.
According to Susan Mennenga, World War I Centennial project manager, the commission is giving out 100 $2,000 matching grants in observance of the upcoming centennial on Nov. 11, 2018.
If approved, the grant would help toward the estimated $5,850 total needed to preserve the statue, Rachwitz said. The city won't hear back about the grant until November.
Rachwitz, who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, said the $5,850 is just the cost to sustain the monument and prevent further deterioration. He said the hope is to stop the deterioration and then consider having the statue restored. The city doesn't have an estimated cost on restoration.
The statue was the first of its kind in Michigan and was presented on June 14, 1925. It was reported that an estimated 3,000 people attended its unveiling. The Amerivan Legion Post 171 and residents' generosity made the statue possible. According to the World War I Commission, it's unknown if there are other statues like it in the state.
The statue originally stood in front of Brown Machine and was later moved to Ross Lake Park in 1986.
"World War I was supposed to be the war to end all wars," Rachwitz said of the global war that began in Europe on July 28, 1914 and ended Nov. 11, 1918. An estimated 135,000 Michiganders served in World War I and about 5,000 were killed.
Gladwin County residents, such as Edna Breault, said they are honored to have such a statue in their community. Breault said she has family members who have served in the military, including World War I.
"It is wonderful that we have this statue to honor those who served this country," Breault said. "It is also important that we remember them and their sacrifices, especially when we celebrate our Independence."
To make donations to preserve the World War I stature or learn more about it, contact Ed Rachwitz at firstname.lastname@example.org and put "WWI memorial" in the subject line.
January 13, 1924
The castle-like Armory, designed by architect John Bentz Hamme; Builder: Lawrence Whalen & Co, was built in 1915, of Port Deposit granite, with two hexagonal crenellated towers and its machicolated cornice. Bel Air's local National Guard units marched from its doors to the Mexican border, and to service in Europe in World Wars I and II. This building has seen its share of patriotic festivals, community send-offs and a 1918 victory jubilee. The Armory even became Bel Air's Civilian Defense Headquarters during World War II.
101 Commerce Dr E, Belle Plaine, MN 56011
This memorial is dedicated to the service of the Second Division in Belleau Wood (formerly known as Senne Wood) during WW1.
On November 11, 1926, the Bellevue Minute Women dedicated a bronze plaque and 65' wooden flagpole to the memory of the three Bellevue citizens who lost their lives in WWI. 89 years later, the memorial was restored to prominence by the "Lest We Forget" committee of VFW Post 2995 in conjunction with Jewish War Veterans Pacific NW Post 686, the Bellevue Department of Parks and Community Services, the Eastside Heritage Center, and the Bellevue City Council. Although the original flagpole no longer stands today, the restored memorial contains a metal representational remnant. It also features a new sculpture depicting a ceremonially folded American casket flag with three roses placed on top. Nearby, three elm trees in a memorial grove symbolize the three fallen sons of Bellevue. Every Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day, three flags are flown to honor the servicemen's memory; there are also plans to hold commemorative ceremonies recognizing the centennial of each man's date of death. The memorial is located in the center of Bellevue's Downtown Park.
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This memorial honors each branch of the Armed Forces as well as those who served in World War 1, World War 2, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Lebanon, and Desert Storm.
Berrien County Courthouse Square
The first of the statues by sculptor E. M. Viquesney. It honors the 60 Berrien County residents who died in service during World War I, including 28 who perished in the disastrous sinking of the troop ship Otranto off Scotland in 1918.
Copies of this statue were placed in many other communities throughout Georgia and the United States in subsequent years.