Program launched to restore World War I memorials

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library have announced a new program to help people across the country restore and preserve local World War I memorials.

100 Cities/100 Memorials is a fund-matching program launching July 18 in which groups or individuals can:

• Identify local World War I memorials in their area.

• Put together a conservation treatment proposal for a memorial in distress.

• Submit their plan for consideration for matching grant funds.

• Have the memorial treated by an accredited conservator, with communication help and possible matching funds.

The details of the program, including guidelines and online application form, can be found here. The fund-matching program has been adopted by The American Legion by Resolution 19, passed in May 2016 by the National Executive Committee.

Legion posts are encouraged to apply for funds through the program, which is designed to foster a sense of heritage in local communities, recognize local stories and people who were involved in the war, and create a way for community members to participate in the national World War I Centennial.

"The words 'Lest We Forget' appear on World War I memorials across the nation,” said Kenneth Clarke, President and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. “Sadly, however, many of these memorials are in need of conservation and restoration, in this, their centennial year."

The 100 Cities/100 Memorials program is particularly well-suited for community service projects hosted by school groups, Scout troops, veterans groups, historical/cultural organizations, faith groups, local sports teams and others.

The sponsor organizations have teamed with the World War I Memorial Inventory Project, which is assembling a crowd-sourced, online database to document and assess the condition of the thousands of World War I memorials across the country.

Some of the 100 Cities/100 Memorials program specifics include the following:

• All submitted projects will be given communication resources to help participants publicize their work, post imagery to social media, and tell their own stories.

• Webinars and videos hosted on the Centennial Commission website will provide information about conserving memorials, researching a memorial’s history, and creating a project plan for submission.

• All World War I memorial projects are eligible to be considered for this program's matching funds. However, the matching funds available per project is currently limited to $2,000, which is likely to be most useful for smaller projects.

• In November 2016, 100 of the submitted projects will be selected by a jury to receive matching funds.

• To qualify for a matching grant, a project proposal needs to be submitted by June 15, 2017. Memorials need to be located in the 50 states or U.S. territories, and the preservation work must be completed (or have been completed) between Jan. 1, 2014, and Nov. 11, 2018.

Information on the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission can be found here.

Information about the Pritzker Military Museum and Library can be found here.

Information about the World War I Memorial Inventory Project can be found here.