Under an overcast sky earlier today, the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, the US Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars and their key partners broke ground for the National World War One Memorial at Pershing Park, on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, DC. The event was streamed and many of you may have watched it live.

Gen. Milley

An audience of several hundred person, including me, heard brief messages from several dignitaries, including the Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark Milley, the Mayor of DC Muriel Bowser, the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs David Shulkin, and four US Representatives, including Emmanuel Cleaver II (MO 5th) and Kevin Yoder (KS 3rd).

Ceremonial Shovels

Also in attendance were former U.S. Senator John Warner and numerous high-ranking officers of the U.S. military, as well as officers representing Belgium, Canada, France and the UK.

Foreign Military attending



These important developments were announced:

  • The National Park Service will have responsibility for the site once completed;
  • The American Legion and the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars will EACH contribute $300,000 towards the cost of the memorial.


James (“Jim”) Patton BS BA MPA is a retired state official from Shawnee, Kansas and a frequent contributor to several WW1 e-publications, including "Roads to the Great War," "St. Mihiel Tripwire," "Over the Top" and "Medicine in the First World War." He has spent many hours walking the WW1 battlefields, and is also an authority on British regiments and a collector of their badges. An Army Engineer during the Vietnam War, he does work for the US World War 1 Centennial Commission and is affiliated with the WW1 Historical Association, the Western Front Association, the Salonika Campaign Society and the Gallipoli Association.