SIA2722: Winged Victory Monument

Photographer:Calvin J. Hamilton
Copyright:© 2007 Calvin J. Hamilton
Location:Washington D.C.

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The First Division of the American Expeditionary Force Monument is located in President's Park, west of the White House and south of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building (formerly the Old Executive Building and the State, War, and Navy Building) at the corner of 17th Street and State Place, NW. The monument was conceived by the Society of the First Division, the veteran's organization of the U.S. Army's First Division, to commemorate the lives of members of the division who died during World War I. The stately column surmounted by an allegorical statue of Victory was dedicated on October 4, 1924, and was the first memorial built in Washington, DC, in honor of the valiant efforts of the soldiers who fought in World War I. Later additions to the monument commemorate the lives of First Division soldiers who fought in subsequent wars. The World War II addition on the west side was dedicated in 1957, the Vietnam War addition of the east side in 1977, and the Desert Storm plaque in 1995. Cass Gilbert was the architect of the original memorial, and Daniel Chester French was the sculptor of the Victory statue. Gilbert's son, Cass Gilbert Jr., designed the World War II addition. Both the Vietnam War addition, which mirrors the World War II addition, the Desert Storm Plaque was designed by the firm of Harbeson, Hough, Livingston, and Larson of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Congressional approval was obtained to erect the First Division Monument and its later additions on federal ground. The Society of the First Division (later called the Society of the First Infantry Division) raised all the funds for the original monument and its additions. No federal money was used. Today, the monument and grounds are maintained by the National Park Service.

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