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.
LaCrosse's World War I Memorial, located in Veterans Freedom Park, was dedicated in October 2016. It is one of a series of war memorials in the park that honor our nation's veterans.
Located in Memorial Park, this monument was designed by noted sculptor, Charles Keck. The bronze sculpture is of a seated female figure representing Victory. The flag-drapped woman holds a scroll with a list of names, & clutches a helmet at her side.
The memorial was erected with funds solicited from East Orange citizens and was dedicated on Armistice Day 1932.
Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000243.
Photos courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office
This memorial consists of a square stone pillar capped with a pointed top, sitting on a rectangular stone base. On the front are two bronze plaques. The upper, larger one is a vertical bas-relief of a Doughboy. The smaller, lower one dedicates the monument to the residents of Milltown who served in World War I.
The memorial is located in Bill Thomson Memorial Park near the American Legion Post building.
Photos courtesy of: Memorial Hunters Club member, Donald Petry
The Pompton Plains World War I monument, placed within a cemetery, consists of a vertical granular stone slab. A bronze honor roll plaque with a stepped top is attached to the front of the stone. The honor roll is decorated with an eagle, wings outstretched, & perched on olive branches. The plaque honors the men of Pequannock Township who served in the war.
Photos courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office
This fountain was constructed here to commemorate the veterans of WWI
Memorial Park in Fort Wayne, Indiana, was established on November 29, 1918 for the express purpose of honoring those from Allen County that died in service to our country. The park includes numerous statues and memorials to World War I service members including E. M. Viquesney's "Spirit of the American Doughboy" and "Spirit of the American Navy" located at the entrance to the Memorial Park from Glasgow Avenue. Along with the statues, a "Memorial Grove" of living trees was planted and labeled for every soldier, sailor, and nurse who died while in service during the Great War in Europe. Originally, a planting of 123 trees in a circular pattern was completed with a brass plaque for each soldier located near each tree. By 1923, nine more trees were planted after the total number of deceased increased. The nameplates that identified each service member are long gone, possibly taken during the Depression. In honor of the centennial of World War I, new trees were planted and rededicated in Memorial Grove to honor the original 132 service members who paid the ultimate price.
World War I memorial relocated in 2014 from original site to grounds of new VA hospital complex near Tulane Ave. and South Galvez St. in New Orleans
vicinity of intersection Tulane Ave. & S. Galvez St.
New Orleans, LA, 70112
Perhaps Maine's most well-known World War I memorial, the 26-foot tall stone Mount Battie Memorial Tower was erected at the summit in 1921 in honor of the men and women of Camden who took part in the war effort during World War I. The memorial was built on the site of the former Mt. Battie Club House, and some of the stones from the Club House were used to construct the memorial.
Veterans Plaza is a beautifully-landscaped hillside and lakeshore designed and built by the Veterans Recognition Foundation. Although recognizing all wars back to the Revolutionary War, it focuses primarily on modern warfare beginning with World War I through the current fight with ISIS and global terrorism. The hillside entry to the plaza is highlighted by the World War I monument, a beautiful bronzed eagle perched on a square base. Each face of the base is engraved with one of the common names by which World War I was known: “WWI”; “World War One”; “The Great War”; and “The War to End all Wars”.
E. Broad and N. Orange Ave, Eufaula, AL; City of Eufaula, City and Street Department. Eufaula, AL 36017; Outdoors. Free.
A larger than life-size marble WW I infantryman stands atop a dome-shaped granite base. It was erected by the Service Star Legion, Porter Doughtie Chapter, to honor those who died in WWI. Listed are John Asbury Boswell, Robert W Brannun, Union W. Hollc-man, Porter R. Doughtie. and Daniel T. Tully.
On the town hall grounds is a monument to the local veterans of WWI.
This monument sculpted by Giuseppe Moretti was erected here in 1926 as a tribute to the veterans of WWI.
A cast bronze relief panel, approximately 6x4 feet, depicts an allegorical female figure of War, with arms resting on the corners of two inscribed tablets listing the 315 Calvert County WWI veterans.
This granite memorial, unveiled during several days of commemoration from August 30-September 3, 1919, weighs nearly 41 tons and has bronze plaques on three sides that are inscribed with a Roll of Honor 1917-1919. It is estimated that approximately 18,000 people attended the unveiling, presided over by Pennsylvania Governor William C. Sproul. The monument was cleaned, refinished and rededicated on November 11, 2017.
World War I Monument - Jenkintown
100 Cities / 100 Memorials
This monument was erected in November of 1919 to celebrate the return of the men and women who served during WWI. The monument previously stood in front of the old Borough Hall location at the corner of West Avenue and Leedom Street. The original monument was a concrete pedestal with mounted mortar shells, and a bronze tablet of all the names of those who served. When Borough Hall was relocated to its current location at 700 Summit Avenue, the pedestal of the original monument was incapable of being moved and unfortunately was unable to be preserved. The bronze tablet was, however, placed on a large piece of granite instead, which is how the monument sits today. In honor of the 100th anniversary of WWI, the bronze plaque was refinished and the memorial was cleaned. This work was completed in time for Memorial Day 2018 celebrations.
The World War I monument in Wildwood, NJ features the helmeted head and arms of a doughboy, holding the hilt of a sword, looking over the top a tall, rectangular, granite pillar. The sword bisects a cross, with the words loyalty, courage, sacrifice and victory in each of the four quadrants. The monument is “Wildwood’s Tribute to the glory of her sons, 1917-1918.” Around the four sides of the flat, rectangular, marble base are the names of six significant WWI battles abroad.
The sculptor of the doughboy is unknown; the granite pillar was completed by O. J. Hammell of Pleasantville, NJ.
The monument was dedicated on May 26, 1927 by Senator William Bright. “The Wildwoods” – Wildwood, North Wildwood & Wildwood Crest – sent 33 people to serve in the war. Three died, including one woman. The American Legion coordinated the dedication event, which included a parade through town honoring veterans and the new monument.
The monument was erected prominently directly across the street from the Pennsylvania Railroad Station. Being a shore community, thousands of tourists exited the train on this spot. The train station is long gone today, and the monument’s park is now in front of senior housing complex.
Narrative adapted from a history of Wildwood’s parks in The Sun.
Photos courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office
Vintage photos courtesy of: The Sun
The West Boxford Improvement Society dedicated this monument in 1934 to honor those from Boxford who died in WWI. It consists of a stone boulder and bronze plaque featuring the image of a spread-winged eagle.
Five hundred men from the Wheaton area enlisted in World War I from 1917 through 1919, 13 of whom died in service. In 1922, a memorial consisting of two bronze plaques with the names of all 500 men was mounted on an obelisk and placed at the Warren L. Wheaton home at Roosevelt and Naperville roads. Five hundred ash trees were planted along Roosevelt Road leading up to the obelisk to create Wheaton’s Road of Remembrance. When the road was widened in 1931, the trees were moved to various parks throughout the city, and a new obelisk was built at Northside Park and rededicated in November 1936. Through time, the obelisk became worn and damaged by age. Eventually, the original bronze plaques were reinstalled and the memorial was restored and rededicated on Veterans Day, November 11, 2017.
This is a life-size statue of a standing WWI soldier, made from limestone or sandstone. He is standing at attention with his rifle at his side, next to a tree trunk. It was dedicated in May of 1920, financed in part by pennies saved by the children who attended the school where the statue stood. It lists the names of 11 Matamoras citizens who were killed in WWI, and is surrounded by a wrought-iron fence.
This granite marker was placed by the Ladies Auxiliary, Coeur d”Alene Barracks 227, of the now dissolved veterans service organization (VSO), Veterans of
World War I of the United States, Inc. The year of the markers dedication and its original location are not known, but it was moved to this location from somewhere
else. It now stands at the base of the GAR, Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Monument here in Forest Cemetery. There is a World War I section of this cemetery
with the all to typical empty flag pole. At the poles base is a vacant concrete base. What stood there is not known.
The Veterans of World War I of the U.S.A., Inc. was organized by War I Buddies in 1948, uniting in fraternal, civic and social comradeship those who served honorably in the
Armed Forces of the United States during the period of World War I beginning 6 April 1917 and ending 11 November 1918, "Armistice Day." And for those who served in
Siberia 11 November 1918 to 1 July 1921. 4,734,991 men and women participated in the First World War. The VWWI was incorporated by the 85th Congress on 18 July 1958.
The Memory of these Soldier, Sailors, Airmen & Marines is carried on by their descendents:
Order of the First World War, 14497 NW 22nd Place , Newberry, FL 32669-2022
This monument was erected during the 1960s to honor veterans of the World and Korean Wars.