National World War I Memorial (Washington, D.C.)


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The National World War I Memorial is a planned memorial commemorating the service rendered by members of the United States Armed Forces in World War I. The 2015 National Defense Authorization Act established the World War I Centennial Commission, which was given the authority to build the memorial in Pershing Park, located at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., in the United States. The park, which has existed since 1981, also contains the John J. Pershing General of the Armies commemorative work. In January 2016, the design commission selected the competition winning team - Joseph Weishaar, Sabin Howard, Phoebe Lickwar, and GWWO Architects - and their winning concept "The Weight of Sacrifice."Pershing ParkThe Pershing Park site was originally occupied by a variety of 19th-century structures until about 1930, when the federal government took legal title to the block and demolished the structures on it. Legislation officially designating the plot as a Pershing Square subsequently was adopted by Congress in 1957. Development of the square proved controversial, as different groups offered competing proposals for memorials to John J. Pershing, who had served as General of the Armies in World War I. These disagreements led to inaction, and by 1962 the square remained bare and often cluttered with trash. In September 1963, District of Columbia officials finally planted grass and flower beds to temporarily beautify the square.

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