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.
Dedicated in 1920 by the Centralia & Clinton Co. Illinois Chapters of War Mothers
The Laramie World War 1 Memorial is an eagle-topped monument commemorating those from Albany County and the University of Wyoming who served in World War 1, with a separate panel listing 32 men who gave their lives during the war. It was designed by Italian-born sculptor Giuseppe Moretti and was dedicated in October 1924. It stands on the corner of Ivinson Avenue and Sixth Street near the Albany County Courthouse.
Description and photo from http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/ww1-mem.htm
This WW1 memorial is located in Section 34 of Arlington National Cemetery, near the graves of General John J. Pershing and many of his "doughboys." It is dedicated to the 116,516 Americans who died in World War 1.
The main campus is located on the southeast corner of McNichols and Livernois, at 4001 West McNichols; it opened in 1952 and is marked architecturally by the University Clock Tower, a structure built as a memorial to U of D students lost in World War I.
Access the campus via the McNichols entrance. You can't miss this grand tower. As you walk up to the base, you will see, etched in stone at the base:
"TO THE UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT MEN WHO DIED IN THE WORLD WAR 1914-18
OUR HONORED DEAD
JOHN DesCHAMPS – CHARLES HARRISON – LOUIS
MANS – EDWARD J BURNS – THOMAS G KENNEDY
ALFRED FULLER – ROGER S MCNAMARA – JAMES
WILLIAMS – LIONEL ESLIN – RUSSEL McBREARTY
WILLIAM J WILKINSON – THOMAS ABERY
FROM RELATIVES, ALUMNI & STUDENTS"
“FOR GOD AND COUNTRY”
Twelve of the young men who left the Le Roy area in 1917 and 1918 for service in
World War 1 did not return home. In their memory the town planted 12 Memorial
Pine Trees in South Park. This type of memorial was created in many towns and
cities across America. In many of those places the trees died or were remove due
to road construction projects. Here in Le Roy, the small bronze plaques were lost
and went unseen and were nearly lost in the shadow of the tall trees until an alert
citizen found them and collected them. The town and American Legion decided
to restore the plaques and attach them to a large shadow box sign at the entrance
to the park so these brave sons of Le Roy who made The Supreme Sacrifice in The
World War would not be forgotten and would always be remembered for the price
they paid for our Liberty.
“DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES WHILE IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY”
DESIGNED AND ERECTED BY AN ANONYMOUS DONOR
An obelisk at First Street and North Grand Avenue that memorializes 113 Sangamon County residents who died in World War I.
The memorial, about a seven-foot granite obelisk topped by a world globe, apparently was designed by the donor. Two small granite benches sit on either side of the obelisk. A vintage street light and flag pole are also in this mini street corner park. This Monument is not vintage to the time period and was donated in approximately 2003, because it says World War 1 and not “The World War”.
Private Sam Yurkovich’s memorial, chosen by his family when his
remains were returned home is one of many of this statue that seems
to have been purchased from a regional artist. There are several
more in the area and others have been destroyed in the past 100
years. Another example is pictured in the photo gallery. This is the
best example and the most well maintained of this type of individual
soldiers memorial I have seen
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery
“SOME DEEDS MUST NOT DIE, SOME NAMES MUST NOT WITHER”
- motto of the National Society of 1917 World War Registrars
The Rollo-Calcaterra American Legion Post No.15 of St. Louis, Missouri preserved a
vital piece of St. Louis history. In the early 1920’s, at the same time that Post 15 was
being formed, the Gold Star Mothers of St. Louis and the National Society of 1917
World War Registrars were organizing an effort to construct a memorial to honor the sons
and daughters of St. Louis who had lost their lives serving their country in the World War.
The memorial included 1,185 round bronze plaques that were set into the boulevard of
Kingshighway, each with a sycamore tree planted by the City of St. Louis. In the 1980’s,
significant changes were made to Kingshighway and the bronze plaques were in jeopardy
of being thrown away.
Rollo-Cancaterra American Legion Post No. 15 saved 752 of the bronze plaques and
documented the 433 that were lost forever. Since that time, the Post has had a single
missionto find an appropriate permanent home for the plaques and on September 20,
2012 at 1:30PM, their mission was fulfilled. For on that Sunday, which was also National
Gold Star Mothers’ Day, The World War 1 Court of Honor Memorial was officially dedicated
at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.
The World War 1 Veterans Memorial is located in the Clinton Riverfront Park and includes a bronze sculpture cast by French-born American sculptor Leonard Crunelle in 1930. The sculpture is part of the memorial which also includes a granite pedestal and a metal flagpole.
This monument was placed in what was designated as Memorial Park in Radcliffe, Iowa.
Now this park is referred to as Radcliffe City Park on current maps.
The Monument appears to on the Northeast corner of E. Ionia St. and Isabella St.
The bronze plaque lists the names of all area residents who served in The Wold War,
including Nurses. Those who made the Supreme Sacrifice are noted with a star
preceding their name.
This monument is made of a granite block with a triangular side elevation. The words, "Our Honor Roll" appear on the front in raised letters. Placed on each of the two sloping angles of the top of the monument are identical bronze plaques listing the names of Gloucester Township soldiers & sailors who served in WWI.
Photos courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office
The Haledon World War I Honor Roll memorial is a large, rectangular bronze plaque mounted to the side wall of the vestibule of the former, formal entrance to Haledon Public School.
The plaque is bordered by a simple molded frame, marked by a central, bare-chested, classical male figure holding a horizontal, sheathed sword in his crossed arms. His arms rest on a stele covering the left side of his body. An eagle with outstretched wings sits at its base. The figure stands atop a plinth which carries these words: "Erected by the residents of Halendon in memory of those who fought and swerved in the World War 1917-1918" Below the plinth, a base panel honors two Haledon residents who died in the war. The names of the other Haledon residents who served are listed in flanking columns around the figure.
The plaque was designed by the noted Italian American sculptor, Gaetano Federici. Federici was a Paterson, NJ resident; he was responsible for several WWI memorials in the state.
Photos courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office
The World War I Buddy Monument at North Front and Cumberland streets in Riverfront Park was dedicated Nov. 11, 1922. The doughboy stands atop a 7-ton boulder from the base of Round Top at Gettysburg National Military Park.
In lacking a physical WWI monument in our town, the American Legion Post 72 has created a memorial exhibition space telling the stories of the town's soldiers through their WWI possessions. Of particular note are the letters and correspondence of the soldiers and their families that relate the humanity of World War I in their own words. Artifacts have been cataloged and stories curated around the objects and their owners. Also, letters have been digitized and narrated to better understand the men behind the soldiers and how the war impacted their sense of identity, their families and the community.
Located in historic downtown Elkhart on Governor Oglesby Street in the current Veterans’ Park, Elkhart’s historic “Order Arms” design WWI Doughboy statue was presented to the Village of Elkhart by the returning veterans of World War I in honor of the soldiers who did not return from the Great War. Eighty-eight citizens from the Village served in WWI and three were killed in action, according to the Village of Elkhart Sesquicentennial record book. The names of those who served in the Great War are on a plaque on the Doughboy. Since then, plaques have been added to the statue with the names of Village veterans from WWII, the Korean War and all veterans killed in action from Elkhart during past wars.
The 16' tall World War I Doughboy statue, crafted from Vermont white marble, is a tribute to those men and women from Cape Girardeau County who gave their all in the Great War. It was erected on Memorial Day, 1925. Forty individuals' names are etched in bronze on the monument base. More recently, research has revealed another seven veterans who earned a place with their brothers and sisters, and a second plaque honors them as well. Of the forty-seven people mentioned, twenty-three were KIA, two were young women and four were African-Americans.
As the centennial of the Versailles Treaty ending WWI was rapidly approaching, the Arizona World War I Memorial, which honors the state’s fallen heroes, needed restoration. Since its dedication in 1969, it has been repeatedly vandalized and marred by disrepair. Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society members, beginning with Terry Araman and David Lucier, actively raised awareness and advocated for a restoration plan. Ahead of the November 11, 2018 centennial, the people of Arizona answered the call and donated the funds needed to replace the missing bronze emblem of the Veterans of World War I of the U.S.A.
This memorial is dedicated to the Ridgewood citizens who died during World War I. It consists of a tall, fluted granite column with its lower face marked by a granite plaque and a bas-relief laurel wreath. The column sits atop a three-stepped granite base. On the front of the base is a plaque with the bas-relief bust of a man shown in right profile. The column is crowned by a bronze eagle with its head turned to the right & wings partially spread. The plaque includes an honor roll. The memorial designer, John Oscar Bunce, was a New York-based architect & sculptor; he became known for his role in the planning and erection of new public and private buildings in Paterson following a devastating 1902 fire.
This large monument in honor of the men and women from Augusta who served during the Great War was erected in 1929. Frances Loring, a prominent Canadian Sculptor, was the artist who designed the memorial. Mr. and Mrs. George E. Macomber sponsored the memorial. The statue, of a uniformed soldier leaning against a cross, rests atop a granite base with plaques honoring those who served.
On the grounds of the town hall is a memorial dedicated to the local residents who served in WWI.
On a vertical stone slab is a relief of a female figure in classical dress, holding a sword to her chest with one hand and a palm leaf in the other. There is a row of three stars above her head, and Army and Navy insignia are at her feet. She is flanked by low rectangular inscription slabs. This was sculpted hy Albert H. Atkins and erected in 1922 to honor the sons and daughters of Roslindale who served in WWI. A later inscription includes the veterans of the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
On a stone boulder is a bronze spread-winged eagle sculpted by F. Ziegler and placed about 100 yards south of here in 1929. It is dedicated to the men of Chatham who served in WWI, and those who died in it are listed on a bronze plaque.