Historian builds database of forgotten World War I memorials






WASHINGTON — On Nov. 14, 1921, President Warren G. Harding and Army Gen. John Pershing set the cornerstone for Washington’s colossal National Victory Memorial, at 6th Street and what is now Constitution Avenue.

World War I had just ended, and this huge edifice was planned, in part, to honor the sacrifice of Americans in “the Great War.” There were to be stars representing each of the nation’s war dead on the ceiling and an 11,000-seat auditorium inside.

But after the foundation and a long set of stone steps were built, the project stalled. Money dried up. The war faded from memory. And the enterprise was scrapped.

With this year’s start of the centennial of World War I (1914-1918), Mark Levitch, a Washington art historian, has been scouring the country for memorials to the war that was to end all wars.

He has searched the Internet and taken to the road in hopes of assembling, with the help of the public, a database of the war’s forgotten monuments. He calls it the World War I Memorial Inventory Project....



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