Swanton’s Spirit of the American Doughboy will be featured in a World War I Centennial Commission coffee table book.
The statue in Memorial Park was one of 100 World War I memorials to be awarded grants and honored with the official national designation as World War I Centennial Memorials.
The memorials included such national landmarks as Chicago’s Soldier Field, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, San Francisco’s War Memorial Veterans Building and Opera House, Honolulu’s Natatorium, and Washington, D.C.’s National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park, as well as many smaller memorials.
Each memorial received a $2,000 matching grant toward the restoration, conservation, and maintenance of these local historical treasures. Swanton’s grant went toward the 2015 restoration, which had a total price tag of $8,750.
“More than four million American families sent their sons and daughters to serve in uniform during World War I, 116,516 U.S. soldiers died in the war, and another 200,000 were wounded,” said Terry Hamby, commissioner of the United States World War One Centennial Commission. “100 Cities/100 Memorials is a critically important initiative that will have an impact beyond these grants. These memorials represent an important part of remembering our past and preserving our culture.”
The National World War I Memorial in Washington D.C., will be dedicated in November 2021. The World War I Centennial Commission will release simultaneously a comprehensive coffee table book featuring all grantees, according to Rosanna Hoelzle.
The profound impact of the war moved citizens in places across the United States to commemorate both the national and local sacrifices from the conflict through monuments, buildings, plaques, parks, groves, even roads and highways.
The 100 Cities/100 Memorials program was created to help draw attention to WWI memorials across the United States, and enables all of America to take part in the WWI centennial commemoration. Many of these WWI memorials have deteriorated due to the ravages of time, exposure to the elements, neglect, and even vandalism.
The Spirit of the American Doughboy Statue is one of three in Ohio selected. The others are the Monument to WWI U.S. Airmen at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the Hudson WWI Memorial.
The funds will be used to conserve, restore or improve these memorials. More importantly, the program is designed to raise community awareness of those who served, and provides a tangible connection to the profound impact this war had on local towns and cities, securing an important place in military history.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010