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WWI Centennial Memorial

U.S. WORLD WAR I CENTENNIAL COMMISSION AND THE PRITZKER MILITARY MUSEUM & LIBRARY ANNOUNCE  FINAL OFFICIAL “WWI CENTENNIAL MEMORIALS

ON THE EVE OF THE 101st ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED STATES ENTERING WW1

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Los Angeles’ Memorial Coliseum, Chicago’s Soldier Field, San Francisco’s Opera Hall

and Washington DC’s Pershing Park Lead List of 100 Official “WW1 Centennial Memorials”

The James Bethel Gresham Arboretum is designated an "Official WW1 Centennial Memorial"

CHICAGO, IL, April 5 – On the eve of the 101st Anniversary of the United States entering World War 1, the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library announced today the final 50 WW1 Memorials to be awarded grants and honored with the official national designation as "WW1 Centennial Memorials".

All 100 memorials, in all 100 cities have now been designated including such national landmarks as: Chicago’s "Soldier Field", LA’s "Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum", San Francisco’s “War Memorial Veterans Building and Opera House”, Honolulu’s "Natatorium" and Washington, D.C.’s “National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park”. In addition, many smaller local community projects are being recognized such as: Scranton Pennsylvania’s “Col. Frank Duffy Memorial Bridge and Park”, Cape May, New Jersey’s "Soldier and Sailors Monument", Ocean Springs, Mississippi’s "Emile Ladnier WWI Memorial," and North Carolina's NC State University “Memorial Belltower”, to name just a few. The newly-designated memorials are in 37 different states and each will receive a $2,000 matching grant, towards the restoration, conservation and maintenance of these local historical treasures.

The 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program, sponsored by the US World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library with support from the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars have now awarded $200,000 in matching grants and designated 100 memorials in 100 cities as official "WW1 Centennial Memorials".

“More than 4 million American families sent their sons and daughters to serve in uniform during World War I, 116,516 U.S. soldiers died in the war and another 200,000 were wounded,” said Terry Hamby, commissioner of the United States World War One Centennial Commission. “100 Cities/100 Memorials is a critically important initiative that will have an impact beyond these grants. These memorials represent an important part of remembering our past and preserving our culture.”

"I am impressed by the community involvement that has sprung from this project.” noted Dan Dayton, Executive Director of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission.  "By focusing on restoring these community treasures, local cities, veterans groups, historical society and citizens have come together to remember the community’s heritage - and that was really a key goal of the program."

Kenneth Clarke, former president and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library and the originator of the program agreed. “By designating 100 WWI memorials across the nation, we believe the breadth and scope of this initiative will have a ripple effect beyond the 100 “WWI centennial memorials”. By promoting renewed interest and focus on these monuments and memorials — as a nation, we honor the names of those who served and the history of the communities where they lived."

The profound impact of the war moved citizens in places across the United States to commemorate both the national and local sacrifices from the conflict through monuments, buildings, plaques, parks, groves, even roads and highways.

The 100 Cities/100 Memorials program was created to help draw attention to WWI memorials across the United States, and enables all of America to take part in the WWI centennial commemoration. Many of these WWI memorials have deteriorated due to the ravages of time, exposure to the elements, neglect and even vandalism.

The funds will be used to conserve, restore or improve these memorials. More important, the program is designed to raise community awareness of those who served, and provides a tangible connection to the profound impact this war had on local towns and cities, securing an important place in military history.

For more information about the 100 Cities/100 Memorials, to view an official project timeline, visit http://bit.ly/2iqqDR6. To learn more about the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, visit http://www.pritzkermilitary.org or @PritzkerMilitaryLibrary on Facebook. Information about the challenge can also be found on The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars websites.

 

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About the World War I Centennial Commission       
The Commission was established by the World War I Centennial Commission Act, passed by the 112th Congress and signed by President Barack Obama on January 16, 2013, and is responsible for planning, developing and executing programs, projects, and activities to commemorate the centennial of World War I. The mission is to educate the country’s citizens about the causes, courses and consequences of the war; honor the heroism and sacrifice of those Americans who served, and commemorate the Great War through public programs and initiatives.  To learn more about the Commission activities, visit www.ww1cc.org

To further the mission, the Commission is leading the effort to build the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C. to honor the 4.7 million American Veterans who served. The Commission conducted an international competition for the design of the new memorial and ultimately selected architect-in-training Joseph Weishaar and sculptor Howard Sabin from 350 submissions to lead the effort. The design will retain an existing statue of General John J. Pershing, and will add a sculpture wall, “A Soldier’s Journey.” To learn more abou the Memorial and to donate, visit ww1cc.org/memorial.


The Commission’s founding sponsor is the Pritzker Military Museum & Library (PMML) in Chicago, Illinois. The PMML is a nonpartisan research institution dedicated to enhancing public understanding of military history and the sacrifices made by America's veterans and service members. To learn more about PMML, visit www.pritzkermilitary.org

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