World War I Memorial

Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!

DC Trip 2023

Washington, DC possesses the largest concentration of National Park Service units of any metropolitan area. I decided to use one of my long weekends in April to visit DC and check a few units off my list. I toured several memorials, monuments and other sites, including the World War I Memorial.

The National Mall

The National Mall stretches from the Capitol to the Potomac River. It serves as “America’s Front Lawn” and its premiere civic and symbolic space. Originally in the L’Enfant plan for the city, the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit of the NPS protects iconic monuments and memorials and over 1,000 acres of greenspace. The WWI Memorial resides in Pershing Park outside the National Mall, but is administered as part of the NPS National Mall district.

World War I Memorial

The National World War I Memorial commemorates the United States Armed Forces in World War I. The 2015 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the World War I Centennial Commission to build the memorial in Pershing Park, located just across the street from the White House Visitor Center.

Congress passed legislation to designate this land as Pershing Square in 1957. John J. Pershing served as General of the Armies in World War I and the intention was to memorialize him. There was disagreement about the design so the project stalled for decades.

The World War I Commission accepted the new concept in 2016. It includes a bronze relief wall called A Soldier’s Journey. The wall will contain 38 sculptures and is expected to be installed in 2024. Currently the wall is represented by an illustration.

2023 DC Trip Posts

Location: Pershing Park, Washington, DC
Designation: National Memorial
Date designated/established: April 16, 2021
Date of my visit: April 7, 2023