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 memorial consists of a small stone located near the east riverbank of the Wisconsin River in Veterans Memorial Park. And it was dedicated by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in 1919.
The stone bears an inscription which reads:
D. A. R.
In recognition of the Loyalty & Patriotism of the Winnebago Indians
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Corporal Foster DeCorah
Robert DeCorah · Jesse Thompson
Mike Standing Water · Dewey Mike
Nelson R. DeLaRonde · James Greengrass
The Winnetka Village Green, bound by Elm, Oak, Cedar, and Maple Streets, is the site of the Winnetka War Memorial, or Cenotaph. In 1926 the Winnetka Memorial Trustees, a group of Winnetka citizens, commissioned Winnetka architect Samuel Otis to design a war memorial to remember the 10 young men lost in "The Great War". The Village Council approved the request on January 18, 1927, and the Cenotaph was completed in 1928.
While searching in the Boston Globe newspaper archives on that newspapers internet archive, I found a story from the newspaper published on 20 September 1920 which mentions the unveiling of a memorial on the lawn of a state building in Wintrop, Massachusetts. The memorial was raised by the Special Aid Society for American Preparedness and was placed in front of the Edward B Newton School.
This memorial is composed of a concrete star, a sundial, and a metal plaque (unfortunately, the style of the sundial is missing). On the sundial is written: "Grow old with me, the best is yet to be".
The plaque below the sundial reads: "In memory of Frank Vivian Laughton, James Leslie Paull, William L. Weber, Jr. Graduates of the Wisconsin Mining School who had served with honor during the World War 1914-1918 and gave their lives that liberty might not perish."
This is a 15 foot tall granite stele dedicated in June of 1926 in memory of the residents of Woburn who died, and those who served, in WWI. On the stele is the image of an allegorical female Liberty, with a torch in one raised hand and a flag in the other. On each side are granite tablets depicting a soldier and a sailor in profile, holding rifles. A bronze eagle is on top, with wings spread and perched on a bronze globe.
Burt W. Johnson sculpted this life-size bronze male soldier with a bandaged and bowed head, with both hands clasping the barrel of his rifle and his helmet. It was erected in 1923 as a tribute to the veterans of WWI.
The Women of Iowa World War I Memorial, also known as The Women in White Memorial, is dedicated to all Iowa women who served and died during Iowa’s participation in World War I. It is located on the campus of the Iowa State Capitol. On May 31, 1921, a simple grove of birch trees was planted on the Iowa Capitol Campus to commemorate the lives of Iowa women who gave their lives in the service of our country during World War I. Over time, some of those trees perished and the memory of that grove vanished. For the World War I centennial, this memorial was established to recreate and rededicate a site on the Capitol grounds to insure that the sacrifices of these women will never be forgotten again.
"In Honor of the Men and Women of Middletown who Served in the World War and in Memory of Those who Gave Their Lives for this Great Cause 1917-1919"
This war memorial, the largest in Broken Arrow's Veteran's Park, honors American women's contributions on the battlefield and the homefront from the Revolution to the present day. Pictured in the monument's WW1 section are ordinance workers, American Red Cross workers, "farmerettes" with tractors, and women making flags.
Yellowstone County, Montana, commemorated the honorable WWI military service of twenty-three women with ties to the county. That means they were either born in the county, entered federal military service from the county, or are buried in the county. Memorial is the first of its kind in the county and probably in Montana. Memorial dedicated April 6, 2017, in public ceremony. Disabled American Veterans, Billings Chapter, provided the memorial and conducted the public ceremony. Memorial is the work of a local war veteran and historian, Edward E. "Ed" Saunders, who spent over 5 years researching and finding these women. The Billings Gazette newspaper covered the event and printed a front page story in the Gazette’s April 7, 2017, edition.
Internet coverage at: http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/veteran-on-wwi-women-vets-memorial-these-women-will-not/article_94b926d3-49ca-5ab4-83f0-ac8bb566cd05.html
This memorial, which also contains sections for World War 2 and Viet Nam, is located next to the fire station in downtown Woodland.
Erected by the Rural School Children of Woodson County in honor of the Woodson County Boys who entered the World War and in memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice
To you, from failing hands,
We throw the torch --
Be yours to hold it high:
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep.
A life-size bronze statue of a WWI doughboy is depicted with a rifle and grenade, advancing through the stumps and barbed wire of No Man's Land. It is mounted on a base of brick with a concrete top. It was sponsored by the Exchange Club of Woodville, sculpted by E.M. Viquesney, and dedicated on October 16,1927. The base was designed by Alton Weigel.
Memorial Grove was established in 1928 to honor the veterans of Worcester, MA who died in World War I. It consists of an iron gateway set in two blocks, and a pink granite marker set on a concrete pathway leading into the grove.
Although far from the combat fronts, Berkeley was one of California's largest cities during World War I and participated in the war effort in many ways, including critical manufacturing, training of servicemen, war-related research at the University of California campus, and volunteer and patriotic programs in the community. At least 100 Berkeley men did not return from the war. They were remembered with a plaque that was later permanently installed on Berkeley's Veteran's Memorial Building in 1923. The plaque was restored and rededicated on the Centennial of Armistice Day in 2018.
Dedicated in 1920 by the Centralia & Clinton Co. Illinois Chapters of War Mothers
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.
“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