As part of America’s commemoration of the centennial of World War I, the United States Congress created the World War I Centennial Commission and authorized the Commission to enhance and expand the World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. The creation of such a memorial in the nation’s capital is a daunting but exciting challenge. Sited at Pershing Park on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Memorial will honor the 4.7 million Americans who served in the war, including the 116,516 who died, and will be a fitting addition to the national memorials to the three other great wars of the 20th century, located nearby on the National Mall. At the same time, the Memorial – located on “America’s Main Street,” one block from the White House – will be at the confluence of vehicular and pedestrian circulation patterns, as well as commercial and institutional activities, and will continue to serve as a commemorative space, as the front door to adjacent uses, and as a park.
The Jury unanimously recommended the submittal titled The Weight of Sacrifice to the WWI Centennial Commission to be the selected concept for the WWI National Memorial and its design team of Joseph Weishaar and Sabin Howard as the selected team to continue to work with the Commission to bring the Memorial to reality. Properly executed, this design concept promises to remind and inspire visitors for generations to come about American involvement and sacrifice in World War I. And it promises as well to become a popular, well functioning, animated urban park in the heart of the nation’s capital.