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Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Design Competition for WWI Memorial (US)

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the National Archives (US). 


WASHINGTON, DC: On May 21st, 2015, the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission will open a design competition for a National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. 

This represents a rare opportunity for the public to witness - and participate in - the creation of a National Memorial in the Nation's Capital. 

A formal kickoff press event will take place at the National Press Club in Washington DC on Thursday, May 21st, at 2:00 pm.  

Details for the design competition will be presented and discussed. The press event will then be followed by a walking tour of the proposed memorial site at nearby Pershing Park, located on Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets NW.

The competition manual will be posted at the Commission’s website by May 21.

The competition will be a two-stage design competition, and is an Open, International competition -- open to any professionals, university-level students, or any other interested participants.  

In the first stage, participants will submit narrative and graphic descriptions of a design concept responding to the competition’s design goals.  

Three to five submissions from Stage I will be selected as finalists, and those entries will be further refined and developed in Stage II.  

Both stages of the competition will be evaluated by a jury of individuals representing the worlds of government, the military, the arts, and the citizens of Washington DC.  The jurors were selected by the Commission, and the Commission will have final decision on the selected design, based on the recommendation of the jury.

The deadline for Stage I submissions is July 21, 2015, and Stage II finalists will be announced August 4, 2015.  The Commission expects to announce its selected design in January 2016.

Following is a link to a presentation on the memorial site and objectives given by Edwin Fountain, the Vice Chair of the World War I Centennial Commission, in August 2014, which sets forth in broad outline the Commission’s objectives in establishing a World War I memorial in the nation’s capital:


World War I was a terrible global conflict that was fought between July 28, 1914, and November 11, 1918. Some fifty countries were involved in fighting that spanned across Europe, Asia, and Africa, and on the seas around the world. The United States entered the war on April 6, 1917. During 18-months of American involvement, over four million Americans served in the military, and two million of them deployed overseas.  116,516 American service members died during the war, and 204,00 more were wounded. The United States played a significant role in the peace afterward, helping to shape the Treaty of Versailles. 

The war, and its aftermath, made enormous impact on the world - it dramatically shifted national borders, it brought new technology to industry and transportation, it changed attitudes toward women in the workplace, and it created new movements in the arts. The war’s effects are still with us, today, one hundred years later. 


Since 1982, the United States has erected memorials in the nation’s capital to the veterans of the three other great wars of the twentieth century – Vietnam, Korea, and World War II.  But there is no such memorial in Washington to the veterans of World War I.  The World War I Centennial Commission believes the soldiers, sailors and marines of that war deserve no less honor than that we have accorded their successors.  More American servicemen and women died during World War I than in Korea and Vietnam combined; after our Civil War and World War II, World War I was our country’s costliest war, in terms of lives lost.

The new national World War I memorial will be located on Pennsylvania Avenue, “America’s Main Street,” one block from the White House and overlooking the Capitol.  The memorial will serve as both a dynamic urban space and, more importantly, as a fitting memorial to a generation of veterans whose service and sacrifice were no less valorous and heroic than that of the veterans of later wars – a generation that were the fathers and mothers of “the greatest generation.”

The twin goals of the World War I Centennial Commission are education and commemoration – goals which go hand in hand.  Over the next four years of the centennial period (2014-18) the Commission will educate the American people about a cataclysmic event in world history that began “the American century,” a war that not only shaped the face of the world for the next century to come, but that likewise changed the face of American society.  But education is inspired by commemoration, and so the goal of this design competition is to achieve a timeless memorial that will duly honor the service of America’s World War I veterans, while inspiring Americans today and tomorrow to better understand this profound event in our nation’s history.


The U.S World War One Centennial Commission is the United States government’s official entity for marking the centennial of World War One. The Commission was created by Congress via the World War One Centennial Commission Act on January 16, 2013, and will exist from now until 2019.

The Commission was created specifically to:

- Plan and execute commemorative programs and projects.

- Encourage private organizations and State and local governments to organize and participate in commemorative activities.

- Facilitate and coordinate commemorative activities throughout the U.S.

- Establish clearinghouse for information about centennial events.

- Make commemoration recommendations to Congress and the President 

In addition, the Commission has been authorized by Congress to create the National World War One Memorial, in Pershing Park, a site near the National Mall in Washington, DC. The memorial will honor the courage, sacrifice, and devotion to country, of those who answered the call to serve. The Memorial will be built using public donations. 

You can follow the Commission’s activities on the web: 

At our website 

On our Facebook  

On our Instagram   WW1CC     

And on our Twitter  @WW1CC, and using hashtags #WW1CC and #WWI