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Monuments & Memorials

"The centennial of World War One offers an opportunity for people in the United States
to learn about and commemorate the sacrifices of their predecessors."

from The World War One Centennial Commission Act, January 14, 2013

DCWorldWarMonumen 1World 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.

Memorial Hunters Club

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.

 

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The Doughboy Amesburyloupe
220 Main St
Amesbury
MA
USA
01913

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.

 
The East Brunswick Veterans Monumentloupe
Veterans Park
East Brunswick
NJ
USA
08816

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.

 
The Florida Keys Memorialloupe
Mile Marker 81
Key Largo
FL
USA
33037

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.

 
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The Fountain of Honorloupe
743 S Lucerne Blvd
Los Angeles
CA
USA
90005

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.

 
The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bayloupe
Mallows Bay Park, Wilson Landing Road
Nanjemoy
MD
USA
20662

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.

 
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The Great War Memorial loupe
1013 8th Avenue
Seattle
WA
USA
98104

the Bronze “The Great War” Memorial Plaque is located inside First Presbyterian Church, 1013 8th Avenue, Seattle,

 
The Grimes County, Texas - Veterans Memorialloupe
501 Texas Highway 105
Navasota
TX
USA
77868

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.

 
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The Harlan Doughboyloupe
Harlan
KY
USA
40831
1930

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.

 
The Harry Bohannon Marker and Treeloupe
Delphi
IN
USA
46923
July 23, 2011
Huw Williams

A tree and memorial on the east side of the town of Rockfield in Carroll County, Indiana. Photo looks west.

Memorial reads:

"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."

 
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The Indiana World War Memorialloupe
431 North Meridian Street
Indianapolis
IN
USA
46204

A large, classical building designed with a surrounding park. A national competition was held for a design, and in 1923 a winner selected. The firm of Walker and Weeks of Cleveland, OH.


 
The James Bethel Gresham Arboretumloupe
3800 Kratzville Rd
Evansville
IN
USA
47710

The James Bethel Gresham Arboretum at Locust Hill Cemetery

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaqueWorld War I US Army Soldier James Bethel Gresham was a factory worker in Evansville, Indiana when in April 1914 he enlisted in the United States Army. In June of 1917, as part of Co F of the 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, he was part of the first group of American troops sent to France. A few months later he became one of the first three American soldiers killed in the war. In the pre-dawn hours of November 3, 1917, German soldiers attacked the Americans in their trenches near Artois, France. The Americans were vastly outnumbered, and engaged in hand-to-hand battle with the enemy. At the end of the encounter, three American soldiers were dead, five sounded and twelve taken prisoner. Corporal James Gresham, along with Private Thomas Enright and Private Merle D. Hay, were buried on the battlefield where they fell. Corporal Gresham was later reburied in the American Cemetery in Bathlemon, France, and finally in 1921 was returned to Evansville and buried here in Locust Hill Cemetery.  Linden trees have been planted near his grave, and that of his mother Alice Gresham Dodd, to reflect the landscape of the French countryside which he died defending.

 
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The Lawrenceville Doughboyloupe
Pittsburgh
PA
USA
15201
1921
Allen George Newman

In 1918, the Lawrenceville Board of Trade organized a carnival in Arsenal Park to raise money for the troops fighting in World War I. When the war ended, before the money could be put to use, neighborhood leaders decided to spend it on a memorial instead. The monument was sculpted by Allen George Newman, who was known for his military-themed works including The Hiker, a depiction of a weary Spanish–American War soldier. Newman's bronze Doughboy statue was unveiled on Memorial Day in 1921 with over 20,000 onlookers present; the Pittsburgh Gazette Times described the occasion as the "largest ceremonial event ever witnessed in Lawrenceville". The memorial originally honored the residents of Pittsburgh's Sixth Ward (comprising Lower Lawrenceville, Polish Hill, and the upper Strip District) who served in World War I.

 
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The Listening Post Doughboyloupe
Lynchburg
VA
USA
24504
1926

Sculptor Charles Keck was hired to create a monument to those killed during World War I from Lynchburg. His bronze, The Listening Post (The Doughboy) statue, was installed in 1926 at the base of Monument Terrace, taking the place of the dolphin fountain. Inscribed in the wall behind the statue are local military unit designations and the names of 43 casualties.

 
The Longest Memorial to World War I Veteransloupe
6213 Shore Drive
Ocean Springs
MS
USA
39564
June 3, 1930

Historical background courtesy of retired Sun Herald feature writer Kat Bergeron:

At a mile and a half in length, this bridge connecting Biloxi and Ocean Springs was designated "the longest memorial to WW1 veterans" at the time of its dedication in 1930. Its cost of construction was $900,000, or about $13 million in today's dollars. The bridge's opening was celebrated with Army and Navy airplanes flying overhead, patriotic tunes performed by the U.S. Marine Corps Band, and a two-mile-long parade of automobiles and pedestrians. In 1962 the bridge was replaced with a four-lane span and the older bridge was converted into a fishing pier. This new bridge was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but was rebuilt shortly afterwards as an even larger bridge with paths for pedestrians and cyclists.

 
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The Madison Town Clockloupe
S. Dalton St. at E. Murphy Sts
Madison
NC
USA
27025

Soon after World War I ended, local citizens contributed money to purchase the Madison Town Clock as a memorial to the men who served and died during the Great War.  Purchased from Boston for approximately $600, this specially made number two striking clock is believed to have been shipped by boat to Wilmington, North Carolina and then by rail to Madison.  Engraved on the clock face are the words “All Those Who Served” and identically engraved on the clock Bell which was cast in Baltimore, Maryland by McNeely and Son.

For more information: https://www.townofmadison.org/index.asp?SEC=54C8B15B-F7EC-4318-8483-CAF6A1643B8E&DE=B258B751-2F5E-487A-B2BF-D9E7942E3648&Type=B_BASIC

 
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The Memorial Tablets loupe
White Plains Middle School
White Plains
NY
USA
Mr. R.G. Eberhardt

The left-panel figure, " The American Boy", holds in his left hand the sword of the Crusaders, surmounted bu a wreath of oak for courage, and in his right the fasces and axe, sign of authority; the right-panel figure, " The American Girl" bears in her right hand the torch of liberty, with thirteen stars fir the original states, and in her left the laurel, symbol of accomplishment. Beneath the fighres are the sesals of the United States, the Army, the Navy and the Hhigh School. Auxiliary panel bearing the names of the complete honor-roll are in preparation. 

 
The Memorial Trees at Beach Parkloupe
1-37 1st St
Keyport
NJ
USA
07735

The Memorial Trees at Beach Park

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaqueOf 3,400 New Jersey men who died in World War 1, nine of them proudly hailed from the historic Borough of Keyport, NJ. On April 13, 1923, nine trees commemorating each of the fallen soldiers were donated by Keyport resident, Ms. Aima Lockwood, and officially dedicated in a Memorial Day ceremony on May 30, 1924.  Each tree was marked with a handsome copper plate bearing the inscription: “This tree is placed here as a tribute of to the memory of (soldier’s name), who gave his life in the World War, 1917-1918.”  Sadly, the trees had reached the end of their natural lives and had to be removed in 2017. In commemoration of the centennial of World War 1, nine new trees have been planted, with new name plates, to continue the living commemoration to Keyport's fallen. 

 
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The Men of Springfieldloupe
Mountain Ave and Shunpike Rd
Springfield Township
NJ
USA
07081

The Men of Springfield

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque The plaque entitled “The Men of Springfield” was erected to honor the legacy of the 80 men that served in the First World War, four of whom made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. In commemoration of the centennial of World War I, the plaque was removed, restored, and relocated here in Veteran’s Park. 

 
The Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Parkloupe
400 North San Jacinto
Conroe
TX
USA
77301

You can see the plaques on their granite bases dedicated to each of America's wars.  On these plaques, are inscribed the names of Montgomery County residents who made the Supreme Sacrifice In The Service Of Our Nation

 
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The Morton Grove Doughboyloupe
Morton Grove
IL
USA
60053
The bronze statue was first installed in 1921 by the Women's War Working Circle in Morton Grove. It has stood on this spot since that time, pre-dating the library which was built in 1952. On Memorial Day and Veterans Day, the Ladies Auxilliary of the American Legion Post 134 lay a wreath at the base in remembrance.
 
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The Morton Grove Doughboyloupe
6140 Lincoln Avenue
Morton Grove
IL
USA
60053

Morton Grove Doughboy

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque This bronze statue was first installed in 1921 by the Women's War Working Circle in Morton Grove. It has stood on this spot since that time, pre-dating the library which was built in 1952. On Memorial Day and Veterans Day, the Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion Post 134 lays a wreath at the base of the statue in remembrance.

 
The Orange County World War I Soldiers Memorial loupe
SE Corner of Lake Eola
Orlando
FL
USA
32801

On Armistice Day 1924, the Orlando Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) dedicated a granite marker to the soldiers from Orange County, Florida, who died in World War I.  Created by Carly Kittel, the marker consists of a bronze tablet attached to a large granite block and was originally erected at Memorial High School in Orlando, Florida. In the dedication address, Francis Gregory, chapter regent, proclaimed that the granite marker symbolized the solid character of the United States of America, and the bronze plaque commemorated those who made the marker possible: the DAR and the citizens of Orange County. After Memorial High School was demolished in 1961, the Orange County World War I Soldiers Memorial was moved to South Lake Eola where it still stands today.

 
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The Pagoda -- Memory Grove Parkloupe
300 Canyon Road
Salt Lake City
UT
USA
84103

The first memorial constructed in Salt Lake City's Memory Grove Park, The Pagoda honors Utahns who gave their lives for their country during World War I. Built in a classic style in the 1920s, the Pagoda has eight columns supporting a circular crest or entablature (all but the roof). The marble used in its construction was from the same source used in the construction of the Lincoln Monument in Washington, D.C. In 1932 a central octagonal column and urn were added bearing the names of fallen Utahns. Originally created as a city park in 1902, Memory Grove Park was dedicated in 1924 as a memorial for America's soldiers and contains several other monuments in addition to The Pagoda. On August 11, 1999 a tornado passed through Memory Grove Park resulting in the destruction of over 400 old trees. No monuments were damaged.

 
The Price of Freedom Memorialloupe
Lawrenceburg
IN
USA
47025
June 03, 1992
 
The Rainbow Soldier/The Return from the Argonneloupe
210 Water Street
Montgomery
AL
USA
36104

This bronze sculpture, entitled Return from the Argonne by British sculptor James Butler, RA, was dedicated on November 11, 2021 in front of the City of Montgomery's Union Station. 

The Return from the Argonne complements The Rainbow Soldier, another bronze sculpture from James Butler dedicated in August 2017, which remembers specifically the legacy of the 167th U.S. Infantry Regiment of the famous 42nd Rainbow Division, and their contributions in multiple battles that were vital to winning the war. Known as “The Immortals,” these heroic soldiers, many of who made the ultimate sacrifice, were revered for their unwavering courage in the face of unrelenting enemy attack. Their bravery in fighting alongside the French at the Battle of Croix Rouge Farm helped push back the Germans at the Ourcq River, one of the most critical points of the war. 

The Rainbow Soldier was gifted to the City of Montgomery by the Croix Rouge Farm Memorial Foundation through the generosity of longtime community and business leader Nimrod T. Frazer, Silver Star. It was originally commissioned in 2011 at the Croix Rouge Farm, located to the south of the French city of Fère-en-Tardenois on the site of the Battle of Croix Rouge Farm; the Montgomery sculpture is a second casting of the one in France. 

It was from this very same Victorian Railroad station that the soldiers from Alabama departed for France in August 1917 and where they returned in May 1919. The Return from the Argonne memorializes these soldiers, as well as all Alabamians who fought in the Meuse Argonne campaign, specifically the African American soldiers from the 366th Infantry in the 92nd division, the majority of whom called Alabama home. 

Another Alabama native son, the famous band leader James Reese Europe, from Mobile, also served in the Argonne. He led the military band of the 369th regiment (Harlem Hell Fighters) which brought jazz to Europe. 

 

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