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.
Erected by: The Tobias Bilyeu American Legion Post 710
DEDICATED TO THE BOYS FROM THIS COMMUNITY
WHO ANSWERED THEIR COUNTRY’S CALL
IN THE WORLD WAR 1917 ♢ 1918
There are two similar pictures of the monument here and when comparing both it appears that the older picture shows the monument at a different location in town. The school building behind it in the new photograph was built in 1905 and does not appear in the older photo. The dedication plaque which is placed on the ground in front of the monument in the old photo was not there when the new, color, photo was taken in August of 2018.
This is the older of the two War Memorials on the Green in front of the Mendota Museum & Historical Society building. Erected by American Legion Mendota Post № 540 in 1921 to honor the memory of seven local soldiers “…WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE IN THE WORLD WAR 1917 ★★ 1918”. There are two plaques that are in remarkable condition at age 98, only missing 7 of the 14 decorative caps covering the bolts holding the plaques to the wall. Also the covered dark red brick community drinking fountain has been well taken care of by the community. The Memorial Monument sites directly behind the newer War Memorial Wall and 155mm Howitzer circa 1917 WW1 field artillery piece.