World War I Memorials set for restoration and rededication
A beautifully maintained war memorial in Mount Airy, North Carolina. (Anthony C. Hayes)
The United States World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library Announce the First 50 official “WWI Centennial Memorials” through 100 Cites/100 Memorials
With support from The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, 100 Cities/100 Memorials Will Recognize 100 World War I Memorials Across the United States
CHICAGO (September 27, 2017) – The World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, in partnership with The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, today announced the first 50 memorials officially designated as WWI Centennial Memorials. The memorials are in 28 different states and each will receive a $2,000 matching grant funds towards the restoration and maintenance of these memorials through 100 Cities/100 Memorials.
The 100 Cities/100 Memorials 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 World War I war memorials have deteriorated due to exposure to the elements, neglect and even vandalism and all require maintenance. Two-hundred thousand dollars in matching funds have been allocated by the World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, with additional support from The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War, to restore these memorials back to their physical beauty and to help actively raise public awareness of those who served and of the effect this global conflict still has on today’s society. These community treasures are a tangible connection to the profound impact this war had on local towns and cities, securing an important place in military history.
“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.”
A second round of submission period will be open from September 27, 2017 through January 15, 2018. Valid applications not selected during the first round of awards will be rolled over to the second phase for consideration. 100 Cites/100 Memorials plans to announce the remaining 50 WWI Centennial Memorials on April 6, 2018, the anniversary of the U.S. entry to WWI. All 100 recipients will receive a matching grant of $2,000 for memorial restorations and be officially designated by the United States World War One Centennial Commission as a WWI Centennial Memorial. Memorials must be completed by Veterans Day, November 11, 2018, the one-hundred-year anniversary of the day that WWI fighting ceased, leading to the end of the war.
“By designating 100 WWI memorials across the nation, we believe the breadth and scope of this initiative will have a ripple effect beyond these 100 centennial memorials,” said Kenneth Clarke, president and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library and founding partner of the Centennial Commission. “By restoring these monuments and memorials —whether it is a simple project like landscaping, cleaning, or making significant repairs—as a nation, we honor the names of those who served and the history of the communities where they lived.”
The first 50 projects due to receive the WWI Centennial Memorial designation and funding include:
For more information about the 100 Cities/100 Memorials, to view an official project timeline or to find out more about the application process, 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 ww1cc.org/tools.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. To learn more about the Memorial, visit ww1cc.org/memorial.The Commission’s founding sponsor is the Pritzker Military Museum and 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.
About the Pritzker Military Museum & Library
Founded in 2003, the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, located in downtown Chicago, is a nonprofit center where citizens and soldiers come together to learn about military history and affairs. The Museum & Library features an extensive collection of books, programs, artifacts, and rotating exhibits covering many eras and branches of the military. Programs include a lending library, the archives, recorded TV shows, podcasts and oral histories, and museum exhibits. To learn more about the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, visit www.pritzkermilitary.org or @PritzkerMilitaryLibrary on Facebook.
About The American Legion
The nation’s largest wartime veterans organization, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans care and rehabilitation, Americanism and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 14,000 posts across the nation. www.Legion.org.
About the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW)
The VFW is a nonprofit veterans service organization composed of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. The VFW and its Auxiliaries are dedicated to veterans service, legislative advocacy, and military and