From the NFRW Armed Services Committee
A ceremony to dedicate the National World War I Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue occurred April 16, 2021. The memorial opens to the public on April 17th. This memorial at long last honors the 4.7 million Americans who served in WWI, of which 116,516 service men and women did not come home and 204,000 returned home wounded. Memorial Day 2024, a free-standing 65-foot bronze sculptural wall called A Soldier’s Journey will be added to the memorial.
The inaugural flag raised at the Memorial first flew over the U.S. Capitol; then at nine World War I cemeteries in France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom; followed by flying at the World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo. The museum has the most comprehensive collection of WWI objects in the world.
World War I, also known as the Great War, began in the summer of 1914. The U.S. remained neutral until April 1917. However, a number of U.S. aviators volunteered to serve under other national commands until the U.S. joined the war. On November 11, 1918 an armistice was declared.
The last surviving U.S veteran of WWI, Frank Woodruff Buckles, died at the age of 110 in 2011. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1917 at the age of 16 and drove ambulances and motorcycles near the front lines in Europe. He later fought in the Pacific Theater of Operations during WWII and was captured by the Japanese
For more information and to watch the broadcast of the dedication, go to www.ww1cc.org/firstcolors. First Colors is presented by the World War l Centennial Commission in cooperation with the Doughboy Foundation, the National Park Service, and the American Battle Monuments.
PHOTO: National Park Service