Hard-Hat Photo-Op, 12 DEC / Noon at Pershing Park, Will Usher Start of Memorial-building
WASHINGTON, DC: The long-awaited 'First Day of Construction' is finally here for the new National World War I Memorial in Washington DC.
On Thursday, 12 December, heavy machinery & work crews will start the first phase of landscaping work on the Pershing Park memorial site, at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, in downtown Washington DC.
The milestone will be marked by a brief photo-opportunity at 12Noon EDT, hosted by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission. Featured guests will include Commission Chair Terry Hamby, and Commission Special Advisor Admiral Mike Mullen.
The News Media is invited to attend, and no press passes are required.
Final design approvals were given last month by the U.S. Commission of Fine Art, the National Capital Planning Commission, and the U.S. Park Service. Architect for the memorial project is Joseph Weishaar, and sculptor is Sabin Howard.
Imagery for the final memorial design can be found here: www.WW1CC.org/Memorial
The site construction is expected to take two years, and a dedication is planned for 11 November 2021.
The memorial project will cost approximately $47million, and will be largely funded by public donation. Major contributors have included the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, the Starr Foundation, the National Football League, the Walmart Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and others.
The central feature to the memorial will be a striking 55-foot long bronze sculpture, "A Soldier's Journey", being created by Sabin Howard. The landscape design also calls for modifications to the existing park layout, which was originally designed in 1981 by architect Paul Friedberg.
A ceremonial groundbreaking for the memorial was symbolically held in November 2017. This event was attended by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie, General Mark Milley, and other dignitaries.
In November 2018, the Pershing Park site played host to five days of World War I commemorations, musical performances, and presentations, all marking the 100th anniversary of the War's Armistice.
The new memorial will take its place among Washington's national memorials to the veterans of the other great wars of the 20th century -- World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. This special honor is appropriate, as more American men & women were lost in World War I, than were lost during the wars in Vietnam and Korean, combined.
The memorial is preceded in designation by the National World War I Museum and Memorial, in Kansas City, MO, which was titled by Congressional action in 2014. That same 2014 legislation authorized the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission to build this new memorial, here, in the Nation's Capital.
Media members who are interested in talking to key participants can reach out to the Media Contact listed below.
The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission is a Congressional commission, created in 2013, to provide public education about American service and sacrifice during World War I.
U.S. World War I Centennial Commission
Founding sponsor for the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission was the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, in Chicago, IL
Major sponsor for the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission was the DC-based Starr Foundation
For more information on the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, go to