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 Temple of Victory Monument, located at Manalapan's Old Tennent Church Cemetery, is dedicated to Monmouth County residents who lost their lives in World War I.
It consists of an elaborate Barre granite canopy supported by four corner Doric columns, resting on two, tiered, square concrete slabs. The base is 10' square; the dome is 14' high. The canopy consists of a round ceiling slab with angled square corner blocks, decorated with stars & crossed weapons.
Standing under the canopy is a stone slab with slanted upper surface commemorating the monument.
The designers & builders were LL Manning & Son of Plainfield, NJ. The monument was dedicated on November 21, 1920 with an address by New York lawyer, Howard R. Cruse. The Camp Vail band performed.
Photo courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office
The Tennessee War Memorial Building is situated in downtown Nashville at the base of the state capitol, and was built as an enduring memorial to the Tennessee soldiers who died in World War I. Begun in 1923 and dedicated in 1925, the memorial initially included an auditorium, a park, and rooms for an archives and museum to preserve the state's heritage and encourage civic engagement. The Tennessee State Museum operated in the museum space until 1981 when it was transformed into the Military Branch of the State Museum. The War Memorial was designed in the Greek Doric order by architect Edward Dougherty, affiliated with the New York firm of McKim, Mead and White. The building has an atrium as its focal point with the names of the 3,400 Tennesseans who gave their lives in the Great War engraved into the west and north walls. A striking statue entitled "Victory" by Nashville sculptor Belle Kinney stands upon a granite pedestal, dominating the central atrium.
This fountain memorial, was originally topped by an Italian marble statue of a figure holding a torch. It was erected on the grounds of Trenton Junior High School #3 (presently Trenton High School West) as a memorial to Russell Terradell of Trenton & other Trenton men who gave their lives during World War I. The memorial was dedicated on July 4, 1925.
It was a gift of Mrs. Elliott F. Shepard, sister of Mr. Terradell. The basin & base of the monument were designed by Samuel Mountford.
Photos courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office
This monument was erected in honor of the young switchboard operator at the munitions plant of the Canadian Car & Foundry Company near Kingsland. Glancing out the window in her workplace, she noticed a wisp of smoke curling from the eaves of Building 30 where 200 gallons of gasoline were stored.
Back at her switchboard, she connected with shed after shed, giving the message that there was a fire in Shed 30 and that all men should leave the area as soon as possible. As she made her final calls, shells started to explode, and one shell piece came through the roof, grazing her. She fainted. Several fireman dragged the unconscious young woman out of the range of the explosions and loaded her into an automobile to be driven to the hospital. Ms. McNamara lived until 1971.
Photo courtesy of: Bill Coughlin & Historical Marker Database
In memory of the men from Bowie County, Texas and Miller County, Arkansas, who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of their country in the World War 1917-1918. They and their comrades fought not for selfish gain nor for one foot of added territory, but for the highest ideal ever upheld by man -- the peace of the world. This monument is a symbol of the praise and gratitude which they so justly merit which will forever be accorded them by their countrymen. Erected by the Texarkana Memorial Unit, an organization of women banded together to honor their loyalty, their service and their sacrifice. November 1936.
The 1799 Lazaretto is located on the site of the 1st permanent European settlement in Pennsylvania. Its roles as a quarantine station sixth oldest in the world, 19th century river side resort, religious center, very early civilian 20th century seaplane aviation training center, Chandler Field was a WW 1 US Army Signal Corps base, and 20th century civilian seaplane base and marina arguably makes it one of the most unique Cultural Landscapes in the world.
The sculptor was local artist Gene Mikulik Sr., Jerome Michal American Legion Post 94, Texas.
The soldier is patterned after Gene’s father-in-law Willie J. Migl, who was a World War I “Doughboy”.
The American Doughboy - Bringing Home Victory. Located in The Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Washelli, 11111 Aurora Ave. N. , Seattle, WA. At one time referred to as the “Arlington of the West”. The Cemetery opened in 1885, holds a monument to Washington State soldiers killed in the War of 1812 and the graves of American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Marines killed in and Veterans of all Wars of the Republic from The Civil War to present day. Artist: Allonzo Victor Lewis - Originally Dedicated May 30, 1932
Short war Bio: WWI - In late 1918 she escorted the German fleet to its surrender anchorage. She was refitted by the Navy in 1925 & 1939. WWII - She supported the Normandy Landing, D-Day, June 6, 1944. After V.E. Day she transferred to the Pacific Theater and supported the landings at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Today, Battleship Texas is a floating museum and the last remaining U.S. battleship of her kind.
Texas now stands as a memorial to the bravery and sacrifice of the servicemen who fought in both World War 1 and World War 2.
This is mostly a general Veterans Memorial. Long shot, slight damage to the inscription on the right stone pillar is from the recent major hurricane.
Honoring Arunyon family members including William E. Potts, Inf Army WWI.
On a stone boulder is a round bronze plaque which bears the images of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a sword, and oak leaves, and the names of the men of Lee who died in WWI. It was dedicated in May of 1921 by the Ausotunnoog Chapter of the D.A.R.
These plaques were originally at the County Court House in downtown Buffalo and were relocated to the Cemetery when a new county war memorial was built.
The inscription on this memorial reads:
THERE WERE 33,331 SOLDIERS FROM FLORIDA WHO SERVED IN WORLD WAR I. MANY SERVED IN THE 31ST INFANTRY DIVISION. A DIVISION COMPOSED OF SOLDIERS PRIMARILY FROM GEORGIA, ALABAMA AND FLORIDA. NICKNAMED THE “DIXIE DIVISION”.
THIS MONUMENT SERVES IN MEMORY OF ALL WHO SERVED IN THIS GREAT WAR 1917 – 1918.
THE STATUE WAS SCULPTED BY CHARLES E. SMITH.
"The Doughboy", a bronze World War I uniformed soldier holding a flag on a 12-foot tall granite pedestal, was sculpted by Humberto J. Pedretti and dedicated on July 4, 1924 to honor all WWI veterans. At the top of the pedestal are two bands of stars, at the bottom a bronze eagle, on the back a bronze medal, and on the front a bronze olive branch and helmet. Originally the monument stood at the northwest corner of Pershing Square as a gateway piece for the park. After the Pershing Square garage was constructed in the 1950s, The Doughboy was transferred to the southeast corner. In 1963 the statue was moved to the park's center, where it remained until it was relocated to the Palm Court when Pershing Square was redesigned in 1994.
The inscription reads:
"Dedicated to the sons and daughters of Los Angeles who participated in World War, 1917-1918".
Leonard Craske sculpted this striding WWI soldier carrying his rifle in his right hand. He is dressed in his winter uniform, carrying a rucksack, extra shoes, a canteen, a shovel and gas mask. Beneath him is a granite slab, and behind him is a granite wall bearing bronze relief plaques showing scenes from the Civil, Revolutionary and Spanish-American Wars. It was dedicated on November 11, 1929, and rededicated in May of 1950 to include the veterans from later wars.
This park honoring the veterans of WWI, WWII, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars was dedicated on May 26, 1996. It was designed by township landscape architect Steve Gottlieb and took three years to complete. It includes a waving, six-sided black granite American flag in a paved courtyard, surrounded by one black granite monument for each of the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marines. Two flagpoles fly the flags of the U.S. and the POW/MIAs. Black granite pavers line the walkway and bear the names of veterans and benefactors.
Also known as the 1935 Hurricane Monument this memorial was funded from numerous public and private contributions. It was designed by the Florida Division of the Federal Arts Project and constructed by the Works Progress Administration. It was dedicated on November 14, 1937. The ceremony included a military funeral with full honors. Four days after the 1935 Labor Day hurricane the Governor of Florida ordered all human remains to be immediately cremated where found. This resulted in 33 recorded sites on 3 of the keys which were later marked with stones. In the following 2 years as many as 50 skeletal remains were discovered throughout the region. These and ashes from all the cremation sites were collected and commingled in the memorial's crypt. Perhaps 300 people are buried here. 166 were veterans, mostly from WWI. They had been hired by the Veterans' Affairs Administration to work on the Overseas Highway. To date no markers have been placed for the veterans. No names appear anywhere on the memorial.
The Fountain of Honor was created by Henry Lion and dedicated in 1930 to honor all husbands and sons of Ebell Club members who served in World War I. It is a life-sized female figure holding a flag, on a concrete base in the middle of a 16-sided fountain. Her right arm raises an oil lamp, and she wears a flowing gown and sandals. On opposite sides of the base are two small animal heads. The Ebell Club was founded in 1894 and is a philanthropic, educational and social club built by women for women.
History courtesy of spinsheet.com
In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson ordered the construction of 1000 new steamships to transport troops fighting in World War 1. None would ever make it across the Atlantic. By September 1919, nearly a year after the war's end, only 264 had been finished. The ships were hastily and poorly constructed, and technological innovation soon rendered them completely useless for future wars. As a result, they were sold to the Western Marine and Salvage Company in 1922. However, the company went bankrupt within the decade, and future attempts to salvage material from the ships also proved economically unviable. The ships were left in Mallows Bay to decompose, along with other vessels abandoned by the salvage company. Today they are part of a flourishing marine ecosystem as well as an interesting destination for history buffs; the site was recently nominated to become a national marine sanctuary to preserve its historical and biological treasures. Although not truly a "memorial," the Ghost Fleet deserves recognition as a unique artifact of American participation in World War 1.
the Bronze “The Great War” Memorial Plaque is located inside First Presbyterian Church, 1013 8th Avenue, Seattle,
Constructed by: Grimes County VFW Post 4006
All of the flags in this group of submissions are at Half Mast, due to the mass shooting at the church in Sutherland Springs on November 4th of 2017.
The Harlan Doughboy was unveiled on Armistice Day, November 11, 1930, to honor the 30 Harlan County men who gave their lives in World War I and whose names are cast in bronze at the base of the statue. A parade opened the ceremonies. Mayor L.O. Smith, in uniform, led the parade with the Benham High School Band immediately following. National Guard, Legionnaires, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and school children also participated. After the parade ended in front of the courthouse, the National Guard fired salutes with rifles, while machine guns rattled salutes from the top of the courthouse.
"This tree was planted in memory of Sgt. Harry Bohannon, the first soldier from Carroll County to give his life for his country in World War I. Bohannon was born in Rockfield, Indiana on June 15, 1890 - missing July 1, 1918. Lost in River Marne, somewhere in France."