The nation’s capital has been home to national memorials commemorating the sacrifices of service men and women who died in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. There hasn’t been a national memorial commemorating World War I — until now.
Yesterday, during a “first colors” ceremony, the U.S. flag was raised for the first time over the newly-constructed National World War I Memorial in DC, located just steps from the White House in Pershing Park at the intersection of 15th Street NW and Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
World War I took the lives of more than 9 million soldiers including nearly 117,000 Americans; 204,000 more were wounded.
“The Great War [touched] almost every American family at the time,” President Joe Biden said during a recorded presentation before the raising of the flag. “For too long, that nationwide service has not been fully commemorated here in the nation’s capital. This memorial finally will offer a chance for people to visit and reflect and to remember. More than 100 years has passed since WWI ended, but the legacy and courage of those Doughboys sailing off to war, and the values they fought to defend, still live in our nation today.”
Features sculptures, fountains and quotes that pay tribute to those who served in World War I, the new memorial shares a space with an existing memorial dedicated to General of the Armies John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing, who served as commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I.