Situated on Pennsylvania Avenue, only a block from the White House, the World War I Memorial is dedicated to the millions of Americans who served and died in that massive conflict.
The new national memorial was built within what was once Pershing Park and at the site of the American Expeditionary Forces Memorial, dedicated in 1981 to honor the soldiers who served in Europe during the war and their commander, Gen. John Pershing.
The World War I Memorial, however, now honors all Americans who served, including service members from the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, those who served in places other than Europe, and civilians as well.
Approximately 4.7 million Americans served during WWI. Two million were deployed to Europe and more than 116,000 died there, either in fighting or from non-combat causes like the influenza pandemic of 1918. Another 204,000 returned home wounded.
When the tree-lined memorial is finished, the dominant feature will be a nearly 60-foot-long by 7-foot-tall bronze sculpture that depicts the American experience in World War I.
Situated at the end of a large pool of water, the sculpture, entitled “A Soldier’s Journey,” will include a tableau of scenes, from the homefront departure of a single soldier through several battle images to a triumphant and ultimately somber return.
The completed installation of the finished sculpture is expected in the spring of 2024.
Just a few years after WWI in 1923, President Warren Harding signed legislation that created the American Battle Monuments Commission. The country’s newest agency was tasked with the construction of monuments, chapels and permanent military cemeteries in Europe.
Now with operations across the globe, the World War I Memorial will be the 32nd memorial, monument or marker managed by the ABMC, and only the fourth in the U.S.
The World War I Memorial is jointly managed with the U.S. Department of the Interior and its National Park Service.
The memorial is located in the heart of Washington, D.C., only blocks southeast of the White House, and across the street from the U.S. Treasury Department.
Travel via Car
The memorial is about 30 miles from Dulles International Airport and less than 5 miles from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. From either location, head north on 14th Street SW, past Constitution Avenue NW, until reaching Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The World War I Memorial will be to the west, occupying the entire city block between 14th Street and 15th Street.
News & Events
Experience the history of World War I, “The Great War,” through an interactive timeline and map.