The WWI Memorial

When you picture war and veterans memorials in the nation’s capital, you immediately think of the amazing Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall), which has sat at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial since 1982. The other memorials that come readily to mind are the huge World War II Memorial at the other end of the National Mall across from the Washington Monument, and the Korean War Veterans Memorial across the Reflecting Pond from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Few visitors to Washington know about or visit the war memorial dedicated in 1931 to honor veterans of World War I. Officially known as the District of Columbia War Memorial, the modest structure is located just off the Mall in a grove of trees not far from the World War II Memorial close to the Reflecting Pool.

The memorial is a classical circular dome supported by a dozen Doric columns, and is reminiscent of the nearby Jefferson Memorial. The names of the 499 residents of the District of Columbia who died in World War I are inscribed around its base.

That memorial is, sad to say, in extreme disrepair today. It is all but hidden away among overgrown trees and bushes, and is seldom marked on Park Service or other tourist maps or signs. A plan is afoot to restore the memorial, re-landscape it and rededicate it as a national memorial to honor the memory of all of the nation’s World War I veterans.

The effort is being spearheaded by the the WWI Memorial Foundation. To learn more about the foundation and its mission, go to There’s also a video on You Tube worth checking out.

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