America Finally Gets National WWI Memorial

  • Joey Upper

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

War of Worlds

April 6th, 1917.  The United States Congress responds to Woodrow Wilson’s request with a declaration of war against Germany with what would prove to be one of the ugliest wars in history. 

With the initial drafting over 2.8 million men, the US was sending over 10,000 troops a day to aid France by the summer of 1918.  By the end of the war, over 4.7 million brave American men and women had participated in defending freedom and democracy.  

Why Now?

Until April 17th, 2021, there were no national World War I memorials in existence. This may seem surprising as WWI changed the landscape of military policy in the U.S. forever. 

There have been numerous unsuccessful attempts at establishing a proper WWI memorial and even recognizing current state memorials as nationally recognized memorials. Commissioned on September 19th, 2019, this project has been in development for some time. 

In their own words taken from the United States World War One Centennial Commission’s website:

“The centennial of WWI has provided the opportunity to give long-overdue recognition to America’s 4.7 million sons and daughters who served in the Great War. Those women and men served with the same valor and courage as the veterans of later wars, and the nation’s sacrifice was great — 204,000 Americans returned home wounded and 116,516 did not come home at all.

“We are proud and excited that at last with the opening of the Memorial to the public on April 17, 2021, we are at last honoring the heroism and sacrifice of the Americans who served with the creation of the National World War I Memorial in Washington.”

Justice For Those Who Served

The National WWII memorial was commissioned by President Bill Clinton in 1994, so it certainly comes as a surprise that there were no previously recognized national Great War memorials.  

The commission and construction of the national WWI memorial will serve as justice and proper recognition for those who served our country.  

With this long-overdue project in place, people all around the country have the opportunity to commemorate, honor, and remember over 115,000 men and women who gave their lives for our country and the over 4.7 million that served our military during this time. 

Remembering the Brave

There is a comprehensive mission and effort to honor and educate the public about the history of WWI. With the three pillars of this project being to Educate, Commemorate, and Honor, there are many initiatives and projects that have come out of this memorial. 

With Armistice Centennial events, public education initiatives, family ties information, volunteer opportunities, and more; this memorial will serve as an appropriate if not long-overdue homage to our American history. 

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