"WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM":
HOW COLUMBUS REMEMBERED THE GREAT WAR
“We Shall Remember Them” are words inscribed on the base of the beloved Doughboy Statue in Columbus, Ohio. The statue, dedicated to the city’s World War I veterans in 1930, stands as one of the most recognizable pieces of public art in our community. How many of us know its whole story? What other World War I monuments have come and gone in the past 100 years in Columbus?
Please join us beginning August 30, 2018 for an exciting program of exhibits and events focused on the memory of World War I in Columbus. It will open your eyes to the complex and controversial debates in a community about how we remember a war, its veterans, and its impact on our lives. We will be updating this page with more information throughout the coming months. Be sure to mark your calendars!
THIS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE IN PART BY OHIO HUMANITIES, A STATE AFFILIATE OF THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES. ANY VIEWS, FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, OR RECOMMENDATIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS PROGRAM DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THOSE OF THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES.
August 30, 5:30pm (Columbus Historical Society): WWI Exhibits Grand Opening & Reception
September 8, 9am (Columbus Historical Society): Game Day Open House with Gallery Talk
September 9, 12:30pm (Columbus Historical Society): Open House with Gallery Talk
September 13, 7pm (Columbus Metropolitan Library): Coffins and Gold Stars: The Stories of American Remembrance in the Aftermath of the Great War, 1919-1933" by Dr. Lisa Budreau, Senior Curator of Military History, Tennessee State Museum
September 25, 7pm (Columbus Metropolitan Library): Billy Ireland and World War I
October 2, 7pm (Columbus Metropolitan Library): Local History Panel Discussion "Columbus After WWI: Local Historians Consider WWI’s Impact at the Centennial" by Moderator: Dr. Megan Threlkeld, Denison University and Panelists: Nancy Recchie, Jeff Darbee, Barbara Powers, and Dennis Keesee
November 11, 3pm: WWI Program Closing Address & Armistice Day Celebration
Exhibits Opening August 30, 2018 and will run through April 30, 2019.
Reaction to the Armistice: This exhibit will explore how Columbus residents and leaders responded to the end of the war. The focus of this part of the exhibit will be newspapers, letters, diaries, and other written formats of expression that reveal how news of the end of the war was received in the city. Photographs and firsthand accounts of the victory parade will enhance this display.
Columbus WWI Veterans’ Postwar Life: The exhibit will examine the postwar experience of the city’s WWI soldiers. Visitors will learn about where soldiers lived when they returned, where they found jobs, and what sorts of challenges they faced upon coming back to Columbus. We will also examine how World War I veterans joined or created organizations to promote their issues and how they participated in reunions or later commemorative events of their time in the war.
The Creation of Monuments: This exhibit will investigate and reveal the way that the city consciously made decisions about memorializing World War I through physical monuments. Photos, archival documents, debate analysis, funding information, etc regarding WWI monuments in Columbus will be used to determine how monuments were funded, designed, built, and dedicated. Examples include The Doughboy at the West Entrance to the Ohio Statehouse, the Victorious Soldier Memorial at the Ohio History Connection, the Memorial Arch at High & Broad (no longer there) and the Veterans Memorial Rotunda (currently in storage at Ohio State University).
City Landscape: This part of the exhibit will consider the ways that the city changed its built environment due to the war. Visitors will learn about new buildings that were constructed during the war for its needs and how were they changed and used after the war. We will also examine how Columbus residents sought to pay homage to the war through the naming of property such as buildings and streets.
Donate to the conversation
Our mission is to increase awareness of WWI in the community and foster a conversation about how WWI memory fits into the larger national discourse about memorialization of American wars. If you are interested in donating to or sponsoring this program, please follow our links to PayPal.
Select from our events listed above
Reaction to the Armistice
Columbus WWI Veterans' postwar life
The Creation of Monuments
Volunteer your efforts
Are you interested in playing an active role in our planning? Fill out the form below to join our volunteer team. Your time, energy, and skills are greatly appreciated!