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.
The Hollywood American Legion building itself is a World War One monument.
The three story, 33,000 square foot facility located on Highland Avenue, one block south of the Hollywood Bowl. The buildings architecture is Egytian Revival-Morroccan Deco and was finished in 1929.
The post is a Los Angeles Registered Historical Landmark and has been a vibrant venue since it's completion. The Post has three floors and a projection booth at the roof level. It's lower floor is partially below ground. Connected to the lower floor by wide carpeted hallways leading up to 55' high Main Atrium supported by four Egyptian Columns.
Open-air Center Atrium leads to 800 capacity Main Auditorium containing 334 fixed theater type seats around a 2,000 square foot Oak hardwood dance floor. The raised stage is a proscenium design with a film screen. The Auditorium ceiling is 55' high and has 8 cement buttress columns that arch floor to ceiling.
All exterior doors are copper sheathed. The Post proudly displays significant Bronze Plaques with Legion members names who have gone to Post Everlasting. Prominent among them are Clark Gable, Adolphe Menjou and Gene Autrey.
Double eight-foot Walnut doors laced with iron and sheathed in copper act as an entrance. The Porch area out front features a six-foot bronze statue of Vietnam Vet in Bronze, a Japanese WWII cannon, Bronze Plaques of Commanders of Post and wrought iron double-gated fence opening on Highland Avenue. There is also a History/Military Museum with an extensive collection; a 4,000 volume Military and Hollywood library.
The collection of historical items of both Hollywood and the military exploits of Post members is a must see on any visit to its vaunted facilities.
This is the only monument in New Haven produced under the city's WPA art program.
Dedicated to Fair Haven resident Timothy Francis Ahearn in 1937. The monument was sculpted by Karl Lang and installed by Maxwell & Pagano.
Ahearn won the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism at Verdun. Although he survived the war, after returning to New Haven, Ahearn was unable to find work, and traveled across the country as a migrant farm worker.
He died in his 20s in California, and his family buried him in St. Lawrence Cemetery, not far from the monument.
The monument was placed on the original site of the Liberty Pole.
Designed by architect Douglas Orr and sculptor Michele Martino, the flagpole is surrounded by a white marble frieze on a six sided base.
Flattened figures of "Peace" and "War," along with two female personifications of the armed services appear on the frieze.
The memorial consists of three parts: the colonnade, entablature and cenotaph.
The entablature contains the names of the major battles in which American troops fought in western Europe.
The cenotaph--the only one in New Haven--features the inscription, "In Memory of the Men of Yale who true to her traditions gave their lives that freedom might not perish from the Earth, Anno Domini 1918."
The memorial was designed by Thomas Hastings and Everett Meeks, and was paid for by Yale Alumni--no university funds were used.
Dedicated on June 19, 1927.