In December 2014, President Obama signed legislation authorizing the World War I Centennial Commission (WWICC) to establish a new memorial in our nation’s capital. Just six years later, on April 16, 2021, the WWICC, in partnership with the National Park Service, the American Battle Monuments Commission and the Doughboy Foundation, will raise the flag of the United States of America over the new National World War I Memorial.
Finally, the millions of Americans who left their homes to deploy to a country most had never visited, who fought in a war they did not start, and who were willing to die for peace and liberty for people they did not know, will be honored at this magnificent spot in our nation’s capital.
I didn’t know the Great War when I began this journey, but now that I’ve passed through it's trenches we shall forever be entwined. To everyone who visits this memorial: I ask you to read their stories and see their faces and be reminded just how similar we still are. We are our own masters of destruction and creators of peace. I hope this place forever stands as a marker of the terrible wounds humanity can inflict upon itself and serves as a reminder that we are forever in need of good people to help us along the way.
Joe Weishaar Architects, PLLC
The Memorial represents the sacredness and value of human life. ‘A Soldier’s Journey’ is an allegory that explains the transformation of the world through WWI by way of one man’s voyage through the hell of trench warfare to a bittersweet return home. It is a great honor to memorialize our veterans and serve my country through this Art.
Sabin Howard, Sabin Howard Sculpture
Working on this project has provided me with a much deeper understanding of the impact and significance of World War I. It was the goal of the design team to ensure that visitors to the Memorial could also gain a deeper understanding of the war and interact on a personal level with the sculpture, A Soldier’s Journey, as well as other interpretative elements on the site. The Memorial’s design was inspired by and communicates the weight, gravity, and significance of the war and sacrifices made by soldiers and civilians who had to endure the devastating results of the world’s first fully mechanized war. We are so proud to have been involved in this important project to honor the sacrifices of those who served in our continued search for peace.
John Gregg, Principal, GWWO Architects, Inc
The team at Land Collective is most proud of our capacity to envision and realize this National memorial in our nation’s capital. It has been an extraordinary transformation that not only revivified an important, modernist park, but brought back to life the memories of those who served in a global conflict that reshaped the modern world. Most singularly in our pride is the rewarding collaboration between the World War I Centennial Commission and the design team; the collaboration within the team itself – Joe Weishaar, GWWO Architects, Grunley, and others; and the negotiations and realization of a vision that meets the needs of all agencies with oversight. Within that recognition is an appreciation for the veterans and general public for which this memorial will bring to the present moment the impactful events and sacrifices of those who served so long ago. It is a deep awakening.
DAVID RUBIN Land Collective
We at Grunley are extremely proud to play a role in delivering this important memorial to the people of the United States of America. It is long overdue that the sacrifices of those who defended our nation in World War I are commemorated.
Kenneth Terry, Vice President of Operations, Grunley Construction
The Memorial’s Journey
An array of key players who brought the World War I Memorial to fruition reflect on the journey of the site and its significance.