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.
Inscription: A.E.F. World War Veterans 1917-1919 (no local servicemen died in combat during WW1)
The four sides of the monument are inscribed with an acknowledgement and names of those who died in conflict from the Civil War through Afghanistan.
The Aviator is a monument that was commissioned by Sallie Maxwell Bennett, the mother of a young man killed during World War I on August 24th, 1918. Her son, Lt. Louis Bennett Jr., was serving in the Royal Air Force's 40th Squadron in France in the fall of 1918 when he was killed. Just before his death, he had destroyed three enemy planes and nine spy balloons from August 15th to August 24th. Before his decision to join a few hundred American pilots in England's Royal Air Force, Bennett was the captain of the West Virginia Flying Corp in Wheeling.
The statue was sculpted by Augustus Lukeman (1871-1935) and dedicated on November 11, 1925 to honor Americans. who died in World War I. The monument was moved and rededicated on November 11, 1975.
This copper figure of a WWI infantryman carrying a rifle and a grenade appears to be advancing through No Man's land. It was sculpted by E.M. Viquesney and dedicated in 1926. The statue is removed from its granite base at the end of each October to be cleaned and repainted, and is returned to the site at the church at the end of the following May.
This is a tower memorial honoring the American dead of World War I. Erected in 1929 by the American Legion, the inscription reads:
To preserve the memories
of our association
in the Great War
This nine foot tall sculpture was created by Bruce Wilder Saville (1893 - 1938), depicting a WWI soldier returning home from victory. He holds his rifle and a German soldier's helmet. It was dedicated on April 6, 1926, and was part of the War Memorial Wing of the old State Museum on the Ohio State University campus. It was moved in August of 1970 to the top of the dome of the Ohio Historical Center, and in 1991 was moved to the center's entrance.
This is a tall limestone WWII soldier, wearing a helmet, pants tucked into boots, and a uniform shirt and belt. Over his right shoulder is slung a rifle. It is dedicated to the war dead from Swain County in WWI, WWII, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Their names are incised on the marble base.
This memorial monument is dedicated to the fallen servicemembers of Flathead County from the Spanish-American War to the present day. It is located near the old Kalispell railroad depot, in what is now called Depot Park.
A five foot tall white marble statue of a WWI soldier is dressed in a waist-length jacket, helmet, boots and britches. His right arm is raised in the air and he holds a rifle in his left. It was dedicated in about 1926 to honor the Montgomery County men who served in the Spanish-American War and WWI.
A bronze WWI soldier is running over rocks and barbed wire, with his rifle held in the air in his right hand. He wears a helmet and has a knapsack on his back. Beneath is a square granite base with a plaque dedicated to the men who served in the Tenth New York Infantry during WWI.
This memorial was my Eagle Scout project dedicated to all Americans who served in the First World War. It has the names of the local veterans who served in WW1 and are buried in the cemetery. It was unveiled and dedicated at 11am on November 11th, 2018. Exactly 100 years after the armistice that ended the Great War. The 48 star flag is atop the inscription and it only has the years 1917-1918 inscribed upon it because it is an American memorial.
This project by the citizens of Muscle Shoals Area of Alabama is to recognize and honor the civilian war efforts of those who worked and died during 1918 in the building of Nitrate Plants and Wilson Dam of the Tennessee River. Sponsorship of the project is being provided by a local Steering Committee of leading citizens together with support from the American Legion and DAR/SAR organizations.
The 101 victims (all died in Nitrate #2 hospital) were recorded by name and sketched as to location of burial by Mr. R.B. Brodie (recorded in data book of 1918 and transcribed in 1921). It is intended that this recognition monument stand for all time as a tribute to their devotion to duty and sacrifice during time of war in service to their nation.
The memorial was constructed August 9, 1942 by the New Haven Chapter Yankee Division Veterans Association. The regiment is where the New Haven Grays were formed. Today the memorial continues to serve as an active National Guard Reserve Unit.
This bronze sculpture nearly 10 X 15 X 5 feet in size, depicts seven soldiers charging the front lines during WWI. The three central ones attack with bayonets while the others are wounded and slump. They are arranged as in a pyramid, and beneath is a stepped granite base. It was sculpted by Karl Illava (1896-1954) and dedicated on 66th St. on September 29,1927, to honor the members of this infantry regiment who served in WWI. It was moved to its present site after WWII.
In 1921 a monument was erected in front of Knoxville High School in honor of the men who served in the 117th Infantry Regiment during World War I. The 117th had been part of the 3rd Tennessee Infantry in the pre-war National Guard. Called into service, the unit became the 117th Infantry Regiment, serving during the Great War as part of the 30th Infantry Division. On May 22, 1922 a special dedication ceremony was held. General John Pershing was one of the guest speakers who addressed the crowd of approximately 7,000.
The memorial consists of a life-sized bronze World War I infantryman appearing to run across rocky ground, carrying a rifle in his left hand and a grenade in his upraised right hand. Beneath is a granite base and behind is a tall granite shaft topped by an eagle with outstretched wings. The shaft is adorned with medallions and several plaques honoring the local participants in wars from the Mexican War through World War I. Some list the names of the 453 members of the 117th Infantry who died in World War I.
Description: Dedicated to: The Oldest Malitia Unit In Texas.Serving in all wars of the United States, from The Texas Revolution To World War II. The 141st fought in the Meuse Argonne Campaign in WWI. The Monument is located in the 36th Infantry Division Plaza and was erected in 1991 by the San Antonio Chapter of the 36th Division Association.at the intersection of E. Market Street and Losoya St./Alamo St. It is on the street just above San Antonio’s world famous River Walk. The monument is also about two blocks from the famous Schilo’s Delicatessen, a San Antonio landmark since 1917.
The 66th Artillery Brigade was the parent organization of the 146th. It had two assigned Field Artillery Regiments, the 146th and 148th, was the first brigade of the A. E. F. (American Expeditionary Force) to have its regiments become motorized heavy artillery units. The 146th, arriving in their training camp at Camp de Souge, France, (10 miles southwest of Bordeaux) first on January 16,1918, were equipped with the newly manufactured French 155mm (6 in.) Filloux rifles, commonly know as the 155 G. P. F. gun. The 148th arrived there on February 14th and was soon also equipped with these spectacular guns.The 146th Field Artillery Regiment of the Washington National Guardwas originally formed at Fort Walla Walla, WA, there was little or no time to train with as all units once formed were quickly sent to France. Fort Walla Walla served the U.S. Cavalry from 1859 to closing in 1910. The was briefly reopened in 1917 to train A.E.F. Field Artillery Battalions.It wasn’t until they reached France that the Brigade was designated as “Corps Artillery” reporting to either a Corps or the higher unit, the First Army, and assigned the 155 mm G. P. F. Guns. Their combat service was within the First Army, however, when serving in Germany with the Army of Occupation, they were within the Third Army area. As such they worn the Third Army patch on their left shoulder, a white A within a red circle in all of the available pictures
The inscription on this memorial reads:
This plot dedicated to the
Boys of the Rainbow Division
166th Inf. World War 42nd Div.
A list of names is included on the memorial. It is unclear whether this list includes all members from the Lancaster Chapter who served, or those members killed while in service to their country.
This memorial is located in the parking spaces directly in front of the Fleville town hall. It is dedicated to the 16th Infantry Regiment who liberated the village of Fléville on October 4th, 1918. During this liberation, 27 of the soldiers of the 16th Infantry Regiment were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
The memorial is a stone stele with a bronze plaque containing text and the symbol of the 16th Infantry Regiment. The inscription reads:
This plaque is dedicated to the men of the 16th Infantry Regiment who fought so gallantly during the heavy fighting in the Meuse-Argonne and who on October 4, 1918 liberated the village of Fleville from the Germans. During the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne and the liberation of Fleville, twenty-seven men of the Regiment received the Distinguished Service Cross, America's second highest award for gallantry in action. It was after the liberation of Fleville, that the 16th Infantry Regiment adopted the Blue and White Fur Vair shield from the town's Coat of Arms, as the background for its Regimental Crest. That crest has been worn proudly by members of the Regiment for over eighty-years and has seen service in World War II, the Cold War, Vietnam, in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and in Bosnia. The Regiment stands ready to serve again with pride and distinction. SEMPER PARATUS - ALWAYS PREPARED.
The Regiment and the village of Fleville must never forget the heroic actions of those men and their dedication to their country and the ideals of freedom. We must always remember that - FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE. In this small French village in 1918, the price of Freedom was very high.
Presented November 11, 1999 by the 16th Infantry Regiment Association.
On January 21, 1918, the U.S. War Department proposed the construction of a new rifle range adjacent to Fort Caswell, N.C., for small arms training of soldiers in preparation for the entrance of the United States into World War I. After World War II, the rifle range was declared surplus and sold. In commemoration of the Centennial of World War I, a group of Caswell Beach residents have worked to create a memorial and dedicate the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range to the WWI veterans of Brunswick County, N.C. and have the structure added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The American Legion Harvey W. Seeds Post No. 29 erected this memorial to the World War veterans who died in the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. It is located in Section 2A of Woodlawn Park North Cemetery. The memorial sits atop a mass grave of five parallel trenches, originally containing 90 identified bodies (81 veterans, 9 civilians) and 19 unidentified bodies -- 109 altogether. Four veterans were later exhumed. 70 of the remaining veteran graves are marked, most since 2015. The burial with full military honors took place on September 8, 1935.
The Merci Train was a train of 49 French railroad box cars filled with tens of thousands of gifts of gratitude from at least that many individual French citizens. They were showing their appreciation for the more than 700 American box cars of relief goods sent to them by (primarily) individual Americans in 1948. The Merci Train arrived in New York harbor on February 3rd, 1949 and each of the 48 American states at that time received one of the gift-laden box cars. The 49th box car was shared by Washington D.C. and the Territory of Hawaii. Parades and ceremonies of welcome were conducted in the state capitols and major cities of almost all the states.
The 40/8 designation refers to the fact that during World War 1, each box car could handle either 40 soldiers or 8 horses as troops, horses and supplies were shipped to the front lines.
The symbol of the Merci Train to the right, shown next to the French flag, is a frontal view of a steam engine with flowers on the pilot which are symbolic of Flanders Field, where many American "Doughboys" from WW1 are buried. The drawing was adopted as the official symbol of the French Merci Train Committee, and a plaque of the drawing was placed on each of the Merci box cars. The committee also had gift tags made bearing the symbol, and one accompanied each of the more than 52,000 gifts that came in the box cars.