Monuments and Memorials - World War I Centennial

Monuments and Memorials

In small triangular memorial area known as “East Point” at the intersection of East Queen and Lincoln Way (U. S. Highway 30).

November 12, 1923

E.M. Viquesney, sculptor

The memorial acquisition had its beginnings as early as March 1920 when a successful campaign was conducted to raise funds to acquire the plaque by public subscription. The original plan was to place it on a large boulder at the Franklin County Courthouse, but a state art commission rejected that plan. After considerable delay, the base shown in the above photograph was built and the Doughboy was dedicated at the current location on a rainy November 12, 1923 – Armistice (November 11) was on Sunday that year. The parade paused for a minute of silence at 11 a. m. to recognize the effective time of the armistice five years earlier. Numerous organizations, bands and speakers participated in the ceremony.

100 W 26 St,
Kansas City
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Harold Van Buren Magonigle, architect

The Liberty Memorial, located in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, is a memorial to the soldiers who died in World War I. Groundbreaking commenced November 1, 1921, and the city held a site dedication. The memorial was completed and dedicated on November 11, 1926.

On September 21, 2006, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne declared Liberty Memorial a National Historic Landmark.  The memorial is the home of the National World War I Museum.


South of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Near 17th Street NW, across from Corcoran Gallery

October 4, 1924

Cass Gilbert, architect; Daniel Chester French, sculptor

The First Division Monument sits on a plaza in President's Park, west of the White House and south of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) at the corner of 17th Street and State Place, NW. (The EEOB was originally known as the State, War, and Navy Building and then as the Old Executive Office Building.) The monument was conceived by the Society of the First Division, the veteran's organization of the U.S. Army's First Division, to honor the valiant efforts of the soldiers who fought in World War I. Later additions to the monument commemorate the lives of First Division soldiers who fought in subsequent wars. The World War II addition on the west side was dedicated in 1957, the Vietnam War addition on the east side in 1977, and the Desert Storm plaque in 1995. Cass Gilbert was the architect of the original memorial and Daniel Chester French was the sculptor of the Victory statue. Gilbert's son, Cass Gilbert Jr., designed the World War II addition. Both the Vietnam War addition and the Desert Storm plaque were designed by the Philadelphia firm of Harbeson, Hough, Livingston, and Larson. Congressional approval was obtained to erect the First Division Monument and its later additions on federal ground. The Society of the First Division (later called the Society of the First Infantry Division) raised all the funds for the original monument and its additions. No federal money was used. Today, the monument and grounds are maintained by the National Park Service. (Courtesy National Park Service)

1700 East Capitol Street SE


Kathryn Harris, designer

The Eastern High School Alumni flagstaff commemmorates seven former Eastern High students who were killed in the Spanish-American War (2) and World War I (5). Paid for by alumni of the school, the flagstaff stands before the school's main entrance. It was in place when the school moved to this then-new building on March 1, 1923.  

White Chapel Cemetery
621 West Long Lake Road at Crooks Road

May 30, 1930

Leon Hermant, sculptor


A polar bear advancing menacingly and protectively past a cross with a World War I helmet strapped to it. The sculpture is mounted upon a stepped, castellated base of polished Swedish black granite.

The monument commemorates the "Polar Bears," a group of soldiers from Michigan's 339th Infantry Regiment, who were sent to Archangel in northern Russia in 1918 at the end of World War I to prevent a German advance and to help reopen the Eastern Front. The soldiers fought Bolshevik revolutionaries for months in the frozen terrain after the Armistice ended fighting in France, arriving in September of 1918, and seeing their last fighting in April, 1919. Ninety-four soldiers were killed in action before the United States decided to withdraw. Public attention was drawn to the expedition in 1929 when two commissions, one appointed by the governor of Michigan and the other organized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars for the War Department, went to Archangel to recover the bodies of American soldiers killed in the expedition. Fifty-six of the eighty-six remains they found were returned for burial with honors around the Polar Bear Memorial, which was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1930. The memorial has been designated a Historic Site by the State of Michigan. The black granite base of the memorial symbolizes a fortress, and the cross and helmet denote war burial.