World War I has received increased attention since its centennial commemoration in 2014, and that attention has led to a push for the Great War to finally have a proper memorial in Washington D.C.
The WWI Centennial Commission is accepting design submissions until July 21, and they hope the project will be completed by the centennial of the WWI’s end on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2018.
The memorial is slated for construction in the oft-overlooked Pershing Park at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, which makes it more than unfortunate that the Commission has already decided to shove Gen. John Pershing aside in their plans.
According to the Washington Post, the vice chairman of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission Edwin L. Fountain said that the new memorial would include the 35-year-old statue of Pershing that is currently at the site, but that it would definitely not be the centerpiece.
Fountain said tellingly, “The memorial as it stands now, the focus obviously is on Gen. Pershing. And with all due respect to him, we’ve moved away from the ‘great man’ approach to war memorials.”