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How Many World War I Memorials Does One Park Need?

Preservationists think D.C.'s first national World War I memorial should be restored before another is added.
Washington, D.C.'s Pershing Park (in better years).
Washington, D.C.'s Pershing Park (in better years).Wikimedia

Late last year, Congress authorized a new National World War I Memorial for Washington, D.C. Just last month, that memorial took its first step toward becoming a reality. But there’s a hitch: The site that legislators picked out for the monument is already home to a World War I memorial. Predictably, the plan has sparked a skirmish over the best way to remember the War to End All Wars.

Pershing Park opened in 1981 just a block from the White House. The park honors U.S. Army General John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing, who led U.S. forces to victory during the Great War. Pershing was a big deal. He’s the only commander ever to achieve the title of “General of the Armies” during his lifetime. The only other leader who got that grade (posthumously) was George Washington.