from The World War One Centennial Commission Act, January 14, 2013
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 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
New Britain honors its World War I heroes and veterans with this 90-foot column in Walnut Hill Park. The tall stone column, topped by two sculpted eagles, bears a dedication at its front (north) base reading, “MDCCCCXXVII (1927). The city of New Britain here records with pride that of her citizens, more than four thousand served in the World War 1917-1918.” The plaque also has symbols representing the Army, the Navy, industry and the Red Cross. It appears that bronze ornamentation that once surrounded this plaque has been removed. A dedication plaque on the south base of the column reads, “To her sons who gave their lives to their country, their names are here inscribed. Their memory lives in the heart of a grateful city.” Just below the eagles, the column appears to be wrapped with a flag that’s draped over the column’s fluting. Surrounding the monument are two semi-circular walls bearing bronze plaques that list the name, rank, unit affiliation and date of death for 123 residents (61 plaques on the west side, and 62 plaques on the east side). Bronze poppies can be seen between the plaques. Ornamental palms at the ends of the rows of names also appears to have been removed. Four large light fixtures near the monument are decorated with butterflies symbolizing renewal and resurrection. New Britain dedicated its World War I monument on September 22, 1928. The monument was designed by Harold Van Buren Magonigle, who also created a similar monument in Kansas City as well a firefighters’ monument on Riverside Drive in New York City.
There are three monuments in front of Old Saybrook's OldTown Hall that honor the veterans of the 20th century’s wars. A 1926 boulder monument, topped by a bronze eagle, honors the service of World War I veterans. It bears a dedication on its front (west) face reading “In memory of Old Saybrook’s sons who served". The east face of the monument has a plaque with two columns of names listing local veterans, organized by service branches: Army (48 names); Navy (18); Aviation (9); and Motor Transport (2) . Near the World War I monument, a granite monument dedicated in 1961 honors local war heroes (see pictures gallery). A dedication near the top of the monument reads, “Erected by the citizens of Old Saybrook in memory of her sons who died at war.” Beneath that dedication, the monument lists heroes and the wars in which they were lost. One person is listed for World War I, 15 for World War II, two for Korea, and one for Vietnam. A polished granite monument in front of three flagpoles bears the POW-MIA logo. An eternal flame flickers in front of the POW-MIA monument.
Veterans Memorial Park is home to Pensacola's World War I Monument. This marble memorial was moved from its Garden street location to Veterans Memorial Park by the Vietnam Veterans of Northwest Florida (VVNF). As the number of World War I vets was declining, and the fact they were unable to raise the needed funds to accomplish this task, it became part of the overall effort by VVNF to open Veterans Memorial Park and Wall South to the community in order remember the men and women who died in the service of our country, whether in time of war or in peace.
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 memorial consists of a cement base and red granite stone, with a bronze eagle on top. There are brass plaques on four sides -- east: In honor of Civil War Soldiers 61- 65; north: War with Spain 1898; west: To the unknown dead of all wars; and south: World's War 1917 - 1918
This memorial is located in Oak Grove Cemetery, at the top of the set of stairs at the intersection of Winthrop Street and Playstead Road. The memorial overlooks the graves of WWI veterans. It consists of a statue of a battle-weary soldier standing with his arms extended horizontally, as if embracing the grave sites in front of him. His uniform is torn (from the experience of the battle field), and his gun is holstered (a source of controversy because some thought the memorial was not “warlike enough” but Mayor John J. Irwin supported the artist’s interpretation). The names of seventy-nine heroes are inscribed around the base. In addition, a “treasure trove box” filled with memorabilia was hermetically sealed in the pillar’s center cavity. The memorial was dedicated in May of 1941, just before the country was about to enter World War II.
The inscription reads “To the Men of Medford Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice”
Around the top of the pillar are panels that represent scenes from the war, which includes taking care of the wounded. Four patriotic eagles protect the monument.
The artist, Emilius Ciampa (1896-1996), a WWI veteran himself, was selected to design and create the monument. He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery and his tombstone indicates he designed both the WWI and WWII memorials in the cemetery. The WWII memorial at the cemetery is near the entrance and is a statue atop a pile of rocks in a pool of water.
The World War I memorial sits in front of Dean Hall on Dean College campus. The memorial is carved granite with a square bronze insert listing those from Dean College that served in the Great War. There are an estimated 350 names listed.
TO THE ABIDING MEMORY OF THE SERVICE OF
THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF DEAN ACADEMY
IN THE WORLD WAR. 1914 - 1918
THEIR MEMORIAL SHALL NOT DEPART AND THEIR NAME SHALL LIVE FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION
Some names include:
AYERS. W. EBEN, JR.
CATAELL, ALFRED L.
HOUSTON, HENRY C.
WHITNEY, WALDO H.
and more ......
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.
This is a memorial to the 1,200 citizens from the Bay View area who fought in World War I.
For more information: https://www.humboldtparkmilwaukee.org/wwi-memorial/history/
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
"In memoriam of those who fought and died in World War I that freedom may live."
Erected by the Soldiers and Sailors Welfare Association of the Ninth Ward.
The Manchester World War I Memorial Plaque was made by the Gorham Manufacturing Company and dedicated on November 11, 1920. It is a bronze relief that bears the images of a soldier and sailor flanking a list of Manchester citizens who died in World War I. It is attached to a base of rough-hewn granite, specked with black and gray. It was originally located about 30 feet to the north of this spot; when the original hospital building was demolished in 1983, the plaque was moved here.
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.
Dedicated in 1925, the Greenwich World War I Monument is a 50-foot obelisk that sits in a small park in front of the town’s Post Office. The obelisk has a multi-sided base bearing the dedications:
[ south side ]
In Honor of
The Men and Women
Who Served In
The World War
[ east side ]
In Memory Of
Those Who Died
And an Inspiration
To All Who Follow
[ west side ]
Of The Marne