Rundown park may become World War I memorial

Advocates argue 116,000+ U. S. war dead should be remembered

Chas Henry
June 08, 2018 - 9:30 am

Courtesy of World War I Centennial Commission

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Funds are being raised to turn a more-concrete-than-leafy park in Washington, D. C. into a national memorial to the nearly five million Americans who served during World War One -- and 116,516 who died during the conflict.  The plan is to refurbish a somewhat shabby but well-situated 1980s-era park. 

"Most visitors to the White House," says Edwin Fountain, vice chair of the World War One Centennial Commission, "approach (it) from 15th Street, which borders one side of this park."  The commission selected a talented, almost-but-not-yet-licensed-architect to be the project's lead designer.  "The thing we want to get out of this is a great park," muses 28-year-old Joe Weishaar, "and a great memorial, and do so in a way that they work seamlessly together.”  Here's his plan.

"After the Civil War and World War Two, this was the bloodiest war in American history," Fountain notes, making the case for building the remembrance site.  "We have these grand memorials on the mall to the Korea and Vietnam Wars...(yet) we lost more American soldiers in World War One than in those two wars combined.”

Listen to what we learned during our recent visit to Pershing Park:

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