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 United States World War One Centennial Commission is supporting The World War One Memorial Inventory project. This nationwide inventory seeks to identify, document, and preliminarily assesses the condition of the country's World War I memorials and monuments. The effort is intended to raise public awareness of the presence, and in many cases, sadly, the plight of these historic monuments and memorials, as a necessary first step to ensuring their conservation and preservation. Read more about the World War One Memorial Inventory project in this article by the project's founder, Mark Levitch. 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.
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This interactive database provides location and all other available information on known World War One monuments and memorials.
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A German Shepherd wearing a Red Cross blanket stands on a rough-hewn boulder. The dog stands in an alert stance with head and ears perked up and tail extended nearly straight. A canteen and helmet lie below the dog's front paws. The helmet has an indentation, possibly representative of a shrapnel hole.
Erected in 1923 in memory of the 7,000 military dogs that served in World War I, the monument also serves as a memorial to all military dogs, many of whom are buried in the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery. The sculpture was reportedly modeled after a dog, who with its owner, daily passed the office of designer Walter A. Buttendorf. The monument was funded with public contributions, including pennies from school children. The cemetery donated the parcel of land.
The Soldier's and Sailors' bridge was completed in 1930 as the principal entrance to Center City and the State Capitol Complex from the east, terminating at Fisher Plaza. The bridge was named "Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Bridge" in honor of the service of Pennsylvania's soldiers and sailors. It connects the East Harrisburg area to Capitol Hill.
The bridge is made up of seventeen arches with towering pylons at the western end which dramatize bridge’s gateway importance. The pylons are 145 feet high and 16 feet wide. Two eagle figures (Lee Lawrie, sculptor) are perched at the top of each pylon, signifying the Union of the United States. One pylon represents the Army, and the other represents the Navy. The four faces of the pylons are inscribed with the dates of eight of the wars the United States had participated in up to that point.
The keystone to each arch on the bridge contains stylized carvings by Lee Lawrie of various implements of warfare that were developed during WWI. These include tanks, battleships, hand grenades, and aerial bombs.