Residents of Washington DC built the World War I Memorial to reflect their gratitude to the 26,000 DC residents who served during WWI. Though a part of the National Mall, this is the only memorial that pays tribute to local residents.
The WWI Memorial is a dome shaped structure, large enough to accommodate the 80 members of the US Marine Corps Band. The domed structure is 43 feet tall, has a 4 foot marble base and is supported by twelve columns. The names of the 499 individuals from Washington DC, who lost their lives in World War I are inscribed on the base.
Congress first gave authorization for this structure in 1924 and its dedication appropriately took place on Armistice Day in 1931, which marked the 13th anniversary of the ending of WWI. The memorial speaks volumes of Washington DCs appreciation for the patriotism shown by their hometown servicemen who graciously served and ultimately died for their country.
Restoration in Progress
The World War I Memorial was actually placed on the D.C. Preservation League’s (DCPL) 2003 most endangered places list. As of 2003, it had been close to 30 years since the WWI Memorial received any major upkeep, partly due to no one really knowing where the responsibility lay for such an undertaking. A national parks specialist reviewed records and made the determination that the NPS (National Park Service) is in fact responsible for the maintaining the memorial.
In 2009, NPS made the announcement that it would be dedicating $7.3 million of “stimulus funds” to fully restore the memorial, which includes the landscape around it. Once completed, a re-dedication ceremony of the World War I Memorial will be held and honor will be bestowed upon the WWI veterans equal to honor given to veterans of the wars that followed.