Honoring people who were served their country, and died in the line of duty, is important. When we think about memorials for those who died in World War I, the image that first comes to mind is a graveyard filled with headstones shaped like crosses. Recently, a concept for a United States World War I Memorial has been revealed.
The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission was created by an act of Congress in 2013. Members of the 12-member Commission were appointed by the President and the leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the National World War I Museum.
The Commission’s mission is to plan, develop, and execute programs, projects and activities to commemorate the Centennial of World War I (WWI). Part of the plan includes the establishment of a National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C., and also to bring attention to the thousands of World War I memorials in communities across the country that honor Americans who served in the war.
The design of the National World War I Memorial has been selected. The design is called “The Weight of Sacrifice”. It was created by the design team of Joe Weishaar (an architect-in-training) and Sabin Howard ( a sculptor who is a veteran). The full professional team includes the Baltimore architectural firm GWWO, Inc., landscape architect Phoebe Lickwar, and engineer consultants Henry Adams LLC, Keast & Hood and VHB.
“The Weight of Sacrifice” memorial features an open plaza of bas-relief panels, freestanding sculptures and green space and will be located in Washington, D.C. A drawing of what the memorial will look like after it has been completed can be viewed on the U.S World War I Centennial Commission website. The website also has some mockup images of the bas-reliefs.
According to Military Times, more than 4.7 million Americans served in World War I. A total of 350 entries were submitted to the international competition for the memorial. The winning design will be built near the White House on the site of Pershing Park, where a monument to General John “Blackjack” Pershing currently stands. The memorial will include 116,516 cubic feet of soil, one foot for each American who died in World War I.
The World War I Centennial Commission will coordinate events and activities commemorating World War I. They will begin doing this in 2017 and will continue through 2019.
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