From The US World War 1 Centennial Commission:

“Apt quotations are often powerful elements of memorials, and we plan to include similar inscriptions at the WWI memorial.  Hence, this request to you:  Could you please identify what you consider to be worthy quotations for inclusion on the memorial.  There are no restrictions on what might be a suitable quotation (other than probably being limited to a paragraph in length)–we are looking for:

  • Quotations from generals and statesmen as  well as Doughboys, loved ones, and civilians
  • Quotes from Americans as well as allies and adversaries
  • Quotations not just about the accomplishments of American troops, but about the nature of the battle, the costs and sacrifice, geopolitical aspects of the war, the socio-cultural aspects of the war in the U.S., the effects of the war on the home front, etc.
  • Quotations from those who experienced the war and those who served in it.
  • Quotations reflecting the diversity of service and contributions from all segments of American society
  • Quotations from speeches, press reports, official reports, and histories as well as diaries, letters, memoirs, poems, songs, etc.

There is a general preference for writings contemporary to the relevant era, but retrospective commentary some years after the fact might be considered.”

Here are some examples:
“Uncommon Valor Was a Common Virtue” and “Semper Fidelis.” — on the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial

“We have met the enemy and they are ours” and “Sighted sub, sank same”. — on the U.S. Navy Memorial

 “Kilroy Was Here.” — on the U.S. WW2 Memorial

Send your ideas directly to Edwin Fountain at

It’s not important that your submissions be original or unique. The commission needs to know which quotes seem to be the most popular.

Your submissions can be anonymous, or with identifying information provided at your discretion.

The deadline is October 1st.


James (“Jim”) Patton BS BA MPA is a retired state official from Shawnee, Kansas and a frequent contributor to several WW1 e-publications, including "Roads to the Great War," "St. Mihiel Tripwire," "Over the Top" and "Medicine in the First World War." He has spent many hours walking the WW1 battlefields, and is also an authority on British regiments and a collector of their badges. An Army Engineer during the Vietnam War, he did work for the US World War 1 Centennial Commission and is affiliated with the WW1 Historical Association, the Western Front Association, the Salonika Campaign Society and the Gallipoli Association.