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.
Photo and description courtesy of the Association for Public Art
This bronze "celestial sphere" is dedicated to the aviators who died during World War 1. It also illustrates the signs of the zodiac and is inscribed with the Latin names of the constellations and planets. The sculpture is located opposite the main entrance of the Franklin Institute.
In Memory Of
Those Aitkin County
Who Lost Their
Lives In The
Northland Chapter D.A.R.
This cast bronze statue of a WWI infantryman has been painted mustard yellow. It depicts him advancing through the stumps and barbed wire of No Man's Land, carrying a rifle and grenade and wearing a steel helmet, gas mask, bag and ammunition belt. Beneath is a granite slab and sandstone base, with a plaque dedicated to the memory of the men and women who served in WWI from Summit County. Other plaques list the 65 men and one woman from the county who died in service during the war. It was installed at the Armory in 1934 and moved to the present site in 1982.
The base of the flagpole is a square column of granite eight feet tall and two and a half feet on a side. It has three rectangular panels with relief images of two soldiers with a dog and birds, two soldiers with a horse, and a soldier walking with nurses. On the fourth side are the names of 145 who died in WWI. It was sculpted by Gertrude Katherine Lathrop (1896-1986) and dedicated in 1933.
This bronze WWI infantryman is advancing through the stumps and barbed wire of No Man's Land, holding his rifle in one hand and a grenade in the other. Beneath is a rusticated marble or granite base. This was sculpted by E.M. Viquesney and dedicated on May 30, 1926, to the Gentry County citizens who served in WWI. It was rededicated on August 24, 1984.
"LEST WE FORGET" / ERECTED IN MEMORY / OF THE / VETERANS OF BORO PARK / WHO MADE THE / SUPREME SACRIFICE / DEDICATED BY / PVT. BUD H. ALBEN POST / NO. 1436 / VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS / OF THE UNITED STATES / 1935 /
This is a metal flagpole installed in the center of a low semicircular granite wall decorated by an American Legion emblem. On each end of the wall is a bronze plaque. The memorial was erected in 1930 as a tribute to Albert T. Wood, the only Longmeadow soldier killed in action during WWI. He died in the Battle of Argonne Forest on October 20, 1918.
A bronze plaque mounted on a granite boulder was placed here in 1962, designed by sculptor Worg. It commemorates the 1,750 men from Bernalillo County who fought in WWI, approximately 50 of which were killed in service.
In 1910, Freemasons in the United States created the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association (GWNMMA) to construct a memorial to George Washington somewhere in Alexandria, Virginia. A site atop Shooter's Hill was chosen, and ground for the massive memorial building and tower was broken at noon on June 5, 1922. Laying of the memorial's cornerstone occurred on November 1, 1923. By February 1924, the foundation was complete. To support the tower eight massive granite columns were placed on the floor of the first story. The floor of the second story was built atop them, and eight more massive granite columns placed above the first story columns. The roof of the second floor was supported by this second set of columns. The tower above rested on these second-floor columns. In December 1924, the installation of eight green marble columns (each weighing 11 to 18 tons) occurred on the first floor. Each column was 18 feet (5.5 m) high and 4.5 feet (1.4 m) in diameter, and arrived at Alexandria's Union Station by train from Redstone, New Hampshire. It was provided by the Maine & New Hampshire Granite Corp. One columnar section was damaged, and given to the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). The VFW turned it into a memorial to American war dead, and erected it in front of Alexandria's Union Station in 1942.
H.L. Movius designed this pair of curved granite benches, with ends formed as wings with three-toed claws, all placed on a wide-semicircular granite base. This was a gift of Mrs. F.B. Robins of Toronto, Ontario, in 1926 in memory of her son. Alfred Skitt Reed, a veteran of WWI.
Erected in part by Beaverton “Barracks 1760, Veterans Of World War 1”. Dedicated: “August 1980”
Bronze Plaque At Base Of Adjacent Flag Pole Reads
Donated By Beaverton Posts
4617 Veterans Of Foreign Wars
124 American Legion
Barracks 1760, Veterans Of World Wart 1
The Fayetteville County, TX one is a bit more difficult, because the granite monument says one thing, and in actuality, that has been changed. It says the plaques listing soldiers names are inside the courthouse when they have been moved outside and attached to metal stands around the granite monument.
In addition, one of the new ones I am submitting today needs two photos also, because you can not tell from the full photo what you are looking at, because the bronze plaque is mounted flat to the ground and the name plaques are randomly and individuals mounted to a nondescript concrete block.
It is an all wars Memorial Monument in Columbus, TX. It stands in front of the Veterans Memorial Center.
Photos and description courtesy of waymarking.com
The front of this vertical granite monument is adorned with an allegorical female figure representing "Justice" flanked by two groups of three African-American officers, soldiers and sailors representing those from Pennsylvania who served in American wars. The figure of Justice is dressed in long flowing robes and wears her hair pulled back and braided around her face. She stands on a low stepped platform holding up a small wreath in each hand to represent Honor and Reward. The African-American Servicemen are dressed in the uniforms of the various branches of the military. On the back of the monument four allegorical female figures, representing the principles for which wars are fought, flank a bronze tablet. On the proper left of the tablet stands "War" holding a shield and wearing a helmet. Next to her stands "Liberty" carrying a torch and wearing the headdress of the Statue of Liberty. On the proper right of the tablet stands "Peace" carrying a large palm frond. Next to her stands "Plenty" holding a filled cornucopia. The monument is topped with a bronze Torch of Life surrounded by four eagles.
This monument includes E. M. Viquesney's "Spirit of the American Doughboy" and "Spirit of the American Navy" statues and is located at the entrance to Fort Wayne's Memorial Park from Glasgow Avenue.
Steven P. Rebeck sculpted this pair of monuments, a ten foot tall granite soldier to honor Civil War veterans and a shorter bronze one tor WWI veterans.
A large triangular stone is set in a narrow grass island at the South entrance/exit to Sutter Creek. This memorial to the men of Amador County was the original brass plaque placed on the stone. Later plaques were added to the stone commemorating those lost in later foreign wars. The back side of the stone has a plaque for those lost in Vietnam. The stone is multicolored: golds, reds, greens (partly due to moss and lichen). The brass has not been polished in recent years, but it is still easy to read.
When exiting town South on Old Hwy. 49, the WWI plaque is visible, facing the driver on the left side of the road. When entering town, headed North, the stone is to the left with the WWI plaque visible only after you pass. The "Vietnam in Honored Glory" plaque faces those entering from the South.
The following is an account of the dedication of the monument published in the New York Times issue of July 5, 1922:
Roses Fall on Monument:
Jersey City Unveils Memorial for 147 Soldiers Who Fell in War.
A monument to 147 soldiers from Jersey City who fell in the war was unveiled at Pershing Field, Jersey City, yesterday afternoon, as part of Jersey City's Independence Day exercises. A feature of the ceremony was the dropping of roses over the field during the services.
Lieutenant Stanton Weissenborn, a former army air pilot, circled above the crowd for two hours, and at frequent intervals dropped a rose until 147, one for each man who died, had fluttered down and made an immense bouquet at the foot of the monument.
The memorial is a life-size bronze figure of a woman, her arms filled with laurels. It is called, "Triumphant America." It was bought by the people of Jersey City through voluntary subscription.
Julius Beger, Chairman of the Monument Committee, presented the memorial to the Captain E. Fisk Post of the American Legion, and Arthur Liesemgang, post commander, presented it to the city. Lieutenant Louis Van Den Ecker, representing the French Consul General at New York; Dr. Foster Timothy of New York, representing British veterans, and Lieut. Col. Kerfoot, U.S.A., were among those who took part in the exercises.
Photos courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office
This monument was erected in 1925 to commemorate Hoboken's role as the US Army Port of Embarkation during World War I, and honor the 3 million troops who passed through Hoboken's port. The monument contains a bronze tablet mounted to the face of a granite boulder. It was erected by the Hoboken Assembly, Fourth Degree, of the Knights of Columbus.
The current plaque was fabricated in 1978 and paid for by Hudson County. The boulder originally sat on Pier 4 near River Street. It was moved to River Street near Pier B in 1976. In 2002-03, with the completion of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, it was moved to its present location at First Street & Pier A.
Narrative adapted from Hoboken Historical Museum website.
Photo courtesy of: Hoboken Historical Museum
To quote the attached historic document, with photographs, in the photo gallery, “November 29, 1921, St. Maries had the honor of being host to Marshal
Ferdinand Foch and his party from France on their tour of the United States. Below he is seen shoveling the first concrete for piers beneath Legion
Memorial Hall in St. Maries, the first such memorial in Idaho, National Commander MacNider participated.”