Headquartered in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is the state’s official history agency and administers The State Museum of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Archives, the State Historic Preservation Office, and numerous historic sites and museums across the commonwealth including Boalsburg’s Pennsylvania Military Museum and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania at Strasburg. Watch phmc.pa.gov for upcoming special programs, exhibits, and projects commemorating Pennsylvania’s involvement in World War I. The Pennsylvania State Archives, in particular, holds many collections documenting the war years and is currently partnering with Ancestry.com and the State Library of Pennsylvania to provide on-line access to number of these valuable records. For example, check out http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60884 to examine Pennsylvania’s World War I Veterans Service and Compensation files. Coming soon: Digital access to over 200 stunning World War I posters from the State Archives’ collections via the State Library and the PA Power Library site.
See State Museum of Pennsylvania website for schedules and prices.
Discounted rates for group tours by reservation.
See Pennsylvania State Archives website for schedule and fees
801 North 3rd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
With headstones lying in a sweeping curve, the 42.5-acre Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial, sits at the foot of Belleau Wood. The cemetery contains the graves of 2,289 war dead, most of whom fought in the vicinity and in the Marne Valley in the summer of 1918. The memorial chapel sits on a hillside, decorated with sculptured and stained-glass details of wartime personnel, equipment and insignia. Inscribed on its interior wall are 1,060 names of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. In 1940 during World War II the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery chapel was damaged due to heavy fighting in the vicinity. All damage was repaired except for one shell hole in the chapel, left as a reminder of what took place.
Belleau Wood adjoins the cemetery and contains many vestiges of World War I. A monument at the flagpole commemorates the valor of the U.S. Marines who captured much of this ground in 1918.
The 4.5 acre Brookwood American Cemetery and Memorial in England lies to the west of the large civilian cemetery built by the London Necropolis Co. and contains the graves of 468 of our military dead. Close by are military cemeteries and monuments of the British Commonwealth and other allied nations. Automobiles may drive through the commonwealth or civilian cemeteries to the American cemetery.
Within the American cemetery the headstones are arranged in four plots, grouped around the flagpole. The regular rows of white marble headstones on the smooth lawn are framed by masses of shrubs and evergreen trees which form a perfect setting for the chapel, a classic white stone building on the north-end of the cemetery. The interior of the chapel is of tan-hued stone. Small, stained glass windows light the altar and flags and the carved cross. On the walls within the chapel are inscribed the names of 564 of the missing.
The Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial occupies a 6.2-acre site. Masses of graceful trees and shrubbery frame the burial area and screen it from passing traffic. At the ends of the paths leading to three of the corners of the cemetery are circular retreats, with benches and urns. At this peaceful site rest 368 of our military dead, most of whom gave their lives in liberating the soil of Belgium in World War I. Their headstones are aligned in four symmetrical areas around the white stone chapel that stands in the center of the cemetery.
The altar inside the chapel is made of black and white Grand Antique marble with draped flags on each side; above it is a crusader's sword outlined in gold. The chapel furniture is made of carved oak, stained black with white veining to harmonize with the altar; 43 names are inscribed on the Walls of the Missing.
Within the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France, which covers 130.5 acres, rest the largest number of our military dead in Europe, a total of 14,246. Most of those buried here lost their lives during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I. The immense array of headstones rises in long regular rows upward beyond a wide central pool to the chapel that crowns the ridge. A beautiful bronze screen separates the chapel foyer from the interior, which is decorated with stained-glass windows portraying American unit insignia; behind the altar are flags of the principal Allied nations.
On either side of the chapel are memorial loggias. One panel of the west loggia contains a map of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Inscribed on the remaining panels of both loggias are Tablets of the Missing with 954 names, including those from the U.S. expedition to northern Russia in 1918-1919. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
A renovated, 1,600-square-foot center visitor center reopened in November 2016. Through interpretive exhibits that incorporate personal stories, photographs, films, and interactive displays, visitors will gain a better understanding of the critical importance of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive as it fits into the Great War.
Dedicated in 1937, the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery and Memorial contains the remains of 6,012 American war dead, most of whom lost their lives while fighting in this vicinity in 1918 during World War I. Their headstones, aligned in long rows on the 36.5-acre site, rise in a gentle slope from the entrance to the memorial at the far end. The burial area is divided into four plots by wide paths lined by trees and beds of roses; at the intersection are a circular plaza and the flagpole.
The memorial is a curving colonnade, flanked at the ends by a chapel and a map room. It is built of rose-colored sandstone with white trim bearing sculptured details of wartime equipment. The chapel contains an altar of carved stone. Engraved upon its Walls of the Missing are 241 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. The map room contains an engraved and colored wall map portraying the military operations in this region during 1918.
Dedicated in 1937, the World War I Somme American Cemetery and Memorial is sited on a gentle slope typical of the open, rolling Picardie countryside. The 14.3-acre cemetery contains the graves of 1,844 of U.S. military dead. Most lost their lives while serving in American units attached to British armies, or in operations near Cantigny. The headstones, set in regular rows, are separated into four plots by paths that intersect at the flagpole near the top of the slope. The longer axis leads to the chapel at the eastern end of the cemetery.
A massive bronze door surmounted by an American eagle leads into the chapel, whose outer walls contain sculptured pieces of military equipment. Once inside, light from a cross-shaped crystal window above the marble altar bathes the subdued interior with light. The walls bear the names of 333 of the missing. A rosette marks the name of the soldier listed on the Walls of the Missing that has since been recovered and identified.
Dedicated in 1937, the World War I St. Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial, 40.5 acres in extent, contains the graves of 4,153 of our military dead. The majority of these died in the offensive that resulted in the reduction of the St. Mihiel salient that threatened Paris. The burial area is divided by Linden alignment trees and paths into four equal plots. At the center is a large sundial surmounted by an American eagle. To the west is a statue of a World War I soldier and at the eastern end is a semi-circular overlook dominated by a sculpture representing a victory vase.
Beyond the burial area to the south is the white stone memorial consisting of a small chapel, a peristyle with a large rose-granite funeral urn at its center, and a map building. The chapel contains a beautiful mosaic portraying an angel sheathing his sword. On two walls of the museum are recorded the names of 284 of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. On the wall facing the door is a large map of inlaid marble depicting the St. Mihiel Offensive.
More than 1,541 men and women are buried at Suresnes American Cemetery. Of these are 30 Graves of the Unknown. Brass plaques list the names of the 974 World War I missing.
The U.S. Army Transportation Museum is devoted entirely to the history of U.S. Army transportation from colonial days to the present. It offers a unique glimpse of the importance of logistical support to the Army, and is a must when visiting the Virginia Peninsula.
The Transportation Museum features artifacts from and a history of the Army's transportation efforts in support of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I.
An impressive 3300-metre peak, Mt. Edith Cavell is named after a British nurse executed during World War I for her part in helping Allied prisoners escape occupied Brussels.
Mount Edith Cavell is part of Jasper National Park in Canada.