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Monuments & Memorials

"The centennial of World War One offers an opportunity for people in the United States
to learn about and commemorate the sacrifices of their predecessors."

from The World War One Centennial Commission Act, January 14, 2013

DCWorldWarMonumen 1World 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.

Memorial Hunters Club

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.

100 Cities - 100 Memorials

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Geolocalisation bp
  • Moved from courthouse to Armory in 1940.
  • 1921
  • Dedication Date: 11/11/1921
  • $10,000
  • IAS MD000280
  • Joseph H. Sloan, Elkton Marble and Granite Work
  • The World War I Doughboy Memorial that stands in front of the Armory in Elkton was dedicated in 1921 at the courthouse, which was then at the northeast corner of Main and North streets. At the end of the 1930s, the county made plans to build an expanded courthouse and turned over the old courthouse to the Elkton town commissioners. Just before World War II started, the town tore down the 18th century structure and the Vermont marble memorial was relocated from its original site to its present location in 1941. The carved inscription recognizes the people of Cecil County who served and died in the Great War.
  • sculptor unknown
  • Single figure -- soldier
101 Railroad Ave.
21921 Elkton
MD
USA

A standing figure of a soldier dressed in his khakis and wearing his helmet. He holds a rifle in front of him with both hands. The base of the sculpture is a shaft flanked by large paneled slabs inscribed with the names of Cecil County men who died in World War I. At the bottom of the base is a row of three steps. At each end of the base, on the front corners, are tapered shafts topped by electric lamps. On the front of the base is a carved eagle.

101 Railroad Avenue
21921 Elkton
MD
USA

Located at the Elkton National Guard Armory

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: thewanderer
84720 Cedar City
UT
USA

Memorial to the Servicemen from Cedar City who fought during World War I.

Nichols Memorial Library, Plymouth and Main Sts. and Meredith Rd.
03226 Center Harbor
NH
USA

On a granite stele are three bronze plaques, a WWI artillery battery in action, emblems of three branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the military badges of the Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy. It was originally installed in about 1920 to honor the Center Harbor citizens who fought in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and WWI. It was expanded after WWII to include its veterans. In 1992, it was expanded again to honor the vet­erans of the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf Wars.

  • Dedication Date: May 29, 2010
335 Polly Reed Rd NE
35215 Center Point
AL
USA
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Aaron Lefkowitz & Zachary Andrews
228 New York State Route 32
10917 Woodbury
NY
USA

"Dedicated to the Residents of Central Valley who Gave Their Services to the the Cause of Humanity"

  • 1953
  • 1956
  • Dedication Date: 1953
  • American Legion post
32611 Gainesville
FL
USA

Century Tower is one of the most identifiable features of the University of Florida campus. The dream of building a tower began in 1953, when alumni sought funds to construct a monument in memory of students killed in World War I and World War II. The tower also commemorates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the University of Florida in 1853. The fund drive resulted in the construction of the 157-foot-tall tower, completed in 1956.

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Steven King
301 N Washington Ave
50401 Mason City
IA
USA

This memorial is dedicated to those from Cerro Gordo Co IA who fought in World War One and gave their lives. This memorial is at the NE corner of the Cerro Gordo CO Courthouse in Mason City IA

2 Lafayette St S
36862 La Fayette
AL
USA

Erected by American Legion Post 141.

  • Width: 8 1/2
  • Other Measurements: Marker H:11
  • 1925
  • Dedication Date: 1925
  • Charles and Murray Gordon Post No. 130, Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
  • Tablets on markers (2)
  • Plaque or tablet
Fort Washington Park
Hudson River
10033 Manhattan
NY
USA

1. IN MEMORY OF / CHARLES GORDON / DIED IN THE SERVICE OF HIS COUNTRY / OCT. 7, 1918 / DEDICATED BY / CHARLES AND MURRY GORDON/ POST NO. 130 / JEWISH WAR VETERANS / OF THE UNITED STATES

2. IN MEMORY OF / MURRY GORDON / A.E.F. - KILLED IN ACTION / FRANCE OCT. 10, 1918 / DEDICATED BY / CHARLES AND MURRY GORDON / POST NO. 130 / JEWISH WAR VETERANS / OF THE UNITED STATES

  • Dedication Date: 1920
  • Other
Urbana
IL
USA
  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Stephen Miller
4411 Prospect St.
44103 Cleveland
OH
USA

"An American Legend"
"Charles Young was the third black graduate of the United States Military Academy, class of 1889. Young enjoyed a diverse military career as a lieutenant of a cavalry troop squadron, and regimental commander, acting superintendent of a national park, military attaché to Haiti and Liberia, professor at Wilberforce University and military advisor to the President of Liberia.
Colonel Young was a dedicated soldier and statesman. Young is an American legend, a model for youth and adults of all races to emulate. As a 'Buffalo Soldier' he was present on the early westward frontier. At Fort Huachuca, Major Young commanded the 2nd squadron cavalry regiment in the Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa in Mexico, served in the Spanish American War, and the Philippine Insurrection. On June 22, 1917 Charles Young became the first African American to reach the rank of Colonel.
Young died and was buried in Lagos, Nigeria in 1922 while serving as Colonel in World War One. A year later his remains were returned to the United States and buried with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery. On June 1, 1923 many Americans bade farewell to a distinguished soldier and statesman. " (Robert Ewell Green in Black Courage)

"The life of Charles Young was a triumph of tragedy. No one ever knew the truth about the Hell he went through at West Point. He seldom even mentioned it. The pain was too great. Few knew what faced him always in his army life. It was not enough for him to do well - he must always do better: and so much and so conspicuously better as to disarm the scoundrels that ever trailed him. He lived in the army surrounded by insult and intrigue and yet set his teeth and kept his soul serene and triumphed.
He was one of the few men I know who literally turned the other cheek with Jesus Christ. When officers of inferior rank refused to salute a black man, he saluted them. Seldom did he lose his temper, seldom complain.
Steadily, unswervingly he did his duty. And Duty to him as to few modern men, was spelled in capitals.
Now he is dead. But the heart of the Great Black Race, the Ancient of Days - the Undying and Eternal - rises and salutes his shining memory: Well done! Charles Young, Soldiers and Man and unswerving Friend." (W.E.B. DuBois in The Crisis, February 1992)

"AS soon as the school year was over, I rode on horseback from Wilberforce to Washingotn, walking on foot fifteen minutes in each hour, the distance of 497 miles to show, if possible, my physical fitness for command of troops. I there offered my services gladly at he risk of life, which has no value to me if I cannot give it for the great ends for which the United States is striving." (Colonel Charles Young, age 53, Historic Horseback Ride 1918)

  • Memorial Hunters Club Submission: Stephen Tyler
50 Beach Avenue
14612 Rochester
NY
USA

Memorial trees with six existent commemorative plaques for graduates of Charlotte High School, currently located in Rochester, New York, who died in service in the war. Memorials created by CHS Class of 1921. They are located along former lane on east side of carousel.

02400 Château-Thierry
Hauts-de-France
France

The World War I Chateau-Thierry American Monument, designed by Paul Cret and dedicated in 1937, is located on a hill two miles west of Chateau-Thierry, France, and commands a wide view of the valley of the Marne River. It commemorates the sacrifices and achievements of the Americans and French before and during the Aisne-Marne and Oise-Aisne offensives.

The monument, also known as the American Aisne-Marne Memorial or Le Monument américain à cote 204, consists of an impressive double colonnade rising above a long terrace. On its west facade are heroic sculptured figures representing the United States and France. On its east facade is a map showing American military operations in this region and an orientation table pointing out the significant battle sites.

German advances in late May 1918 led to the 3rd Division joining the fight. Its units assisted French troops in preventing the Germans from crossing the Marne River. The 3rd Division held the south bank of the Marne until the French American counteroffensive forced German withdrawal. It earned the nickname “Rock of the Marne.” At the nearby cemeteries rest those Americans who gave their lives in the service of their country.

  • Materials (select all that apply): Metal (any)
  • Battle of Chateau Thierry
  • Argonne and Chateau Thierry Barracks was built and opened in 1919 honoring the American contributions in WWI named after two battles where American soldiers and Marines contributed to major victories in Flanders
  • Dormitory
442 East Bay Street
31401 Savannah
GA
USA
This memorial was dedicated in May of 1986 to honor the members of the Chatham Artillery, a Savannah military unit formed in 1786. 

Inscription: “Dedicated May 4, 1986 - To Honor the Members of the Chatham Artillery - Servants of God, Country, State, and Community - Soldiers in War - Patriots in Peace”

Chatham History 1886-1986 (Inscription)

“June 1917 Federalized for WW1.  Training at Fort McPherson and Camp Wheeler.  As part of the (?)st Division In July 1918 Were Sent to Camp Jackson S.C. And Then To France For Combat Duty With the Allied Forces."
Forsyth Park
31401 Savannah
GA
USA
This memorial honors local marines who served from WWII to Beirut.

Initially dedicated November 11, 1947, by the Savannah Detachment - Marine Corps League. 
  • Dedication Date: 1934
  • Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
818 Memorial Dr. On the grounds of the Chattooga County Memorial Home - American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars
30747 Summerville
GA
USA

Chattooga County Memorial and Doughboy Statue.   Inscription:  In Memorium - World War Veterans of Chattooga County, Georgia 1917 - 1918.  Erected 1934 by Citizens and Friends of Chattooga County.  Fostered by The Trion Company, B.D. Riegel, Pres. & Treas., N.B. Murphy, Vice Pres., A.D. Elliott.

Spirit of The American Doughboy (statue), Copyrighted by E.M. Viquesney, Sculptor, Spencer, Indiana. 

Bronze plaques on three sides of the memorial column are inscribed with the names of soldiers from this county that fought in WW1. Photos of these names are attached in the  photo gallery. Those that lost their lives are marked with stars next to their names.

Accompanying the memorial is an artillery piece.    It has been identified as a German 7.6 Minenwerfer (Trench Mortar) on a carriage probably made post war so it could be displayed as a memorial. In the trenches, it would usually be on a square brace pad. These types of mortars were not used after the war and so were scrapped or taken as a war trophy by the allies.

VFW memorial home
30753 Trion
GA
USA
The Chattooga County copy of the famous statue originally stood in Circle Park in Trion, but was moved to the VFW memorial home and rededicated in 1988.
  • Width: 8'
  • Depth: 5'6
  • April 7, 1921
  • Dedication Date: April 7, 1921
  • Chelsea Memorial Committee
  • Standing figure with integral plinth, on pedestal against integral backing wall
  • Roman Bronze Works, New York
  • Philip Martiny
  • Single figure -- soldier
Chelsea Park
W 27 St
10001 New York
NY
USA

TO / THE SOLDIERS / AND SAILORS / OF CHELSEA / WORLD WAR / 1914 - 1918 /

 

Architect: Charles R.Lamb