From the Memorial's conception in 2014, through the international design competition in 2015, through the design selection in 2016, through the three year design refinements and collaboration with the Commission of Fine Arts, the National Capital Planning Commission, the National Park Service and others resulting in the final approval in 2019, through the fundraising of $50 Million, through the construction during a pandemic in 2020, to the opening of the Memorial to the public in 2021 and beyond... The Doughboy Foundation has worked hand-in-glove with the US WWI Centennial Commission to make this dream a reality.
As the project completes and the Centennial Commission sunsets after the main sculpture is installed, the Doughboy Foundation will continue its mission of stewarship for the National WWI Memorial and the remembrance of all those who served and sacrificed in WWI.
The Memorial is rising at a moment when Americans are conscious of our history as never before. Millions of visitors, whether on-site or touring virtually, will gain a comprehensive, emotional understanding of World War I’s impact.
It is the responsibility of the Doughboy Foundation to be a steadfast friend of the National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. to ensure this priceless, national asset is accessible and enriching for generations to come.
The memorial is America’s first 21st-century memorial because it incorporates a virtual and augmented reality smartphone app that will revolutionize how visitors interact with memorials. The Virtual Explorer app takes users on a virtual field trip to the National WWI Memorial in Washington, D.C., with 3D stories and more than fifty videos integrated into the 3D space. Users at the memorial will be able to engage with additional experiences, educational opportunities, and activities.
The Doughboy Foundation stewardship of the National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. includes:
Partnering with the National Park Service and the American Battle Monuments Commission to ensure the Memorial is always maintained in pristine condition to honor the service of the Doughboys; and
Continuing to update The Virtual Explorer app, which is free to the public, and making ongoing enhancements to the app and technology at the Memorial.
The goal of this initiative is to have a moment at the end of each day that reflects on the 4.7 million Americans who put on the uniform for WWI and the 116,516 who made the ultimate sacrifice.
We envision the tolling of a ship's bell and the playing of Taps daily at the National WWI Memorial.
It is our aspiration that this daily tradition become a part of the National Capital's ethos and experience for both locals and visitors to enjoy in the reverent and beautiful atmosphere of the National WWI Memorial.
RELEASE 1.0 The WWI Memorial "Virtual Explorer": Explore the past with the tools of the future
This free, innovative Augmented Reality Smartphone App for iOS and Android mobile devices places a scaled version of the entire 1.8-acre WWI Memorial anywhere including: backyards, driveways, living rooms, or classrooms. It allows users to take a virtual field trip to the National WWI Memorial being built in Washington DC.
But it is more than that. The virtual Memorial is filled with WWI explorations and discoveries including video game style 3D stories and over 50 videos integrated into the 3D space. Together they present various aspects of WWI, “The War that Changed the World.”
This App is available NOW in the Google Play and App Stores: Search for WWI Memorial
Please join us and toll “Bells of Peace” on 11/11 at 11am local time to honor all those who served and sacrificed in WWI.
In 2018, we launched the Bells of Peace initiative to create a national bell tolling at 11am local on 11/11 as a WWI Armistice Centennial remembrance. It was a major success, prompting us to promote "Bells of Peace" as an annual moment of remembrance on Veterans Day to reflect on "The War that Changed the World" and those who were changed by it.
The App does a number of things in support of those who participate in the annual Bells of Peace commemoration.
It provides a countdown timer to the 11th hour (local) of the 11th day of the 11 month.
When the countdown timer reaches 00 00 00, the selected bell will toll 21 times, 5 seconds apart to remember those who served and sacrificed not just in WWI but all veterans of all wars. (SEE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A SUCCESSFUL TOLLING)
If you have multiple devices open, they will all toll together no matter what bell sound has been selected.
Under the Share icon (camera), you can read and post pictures, videos and captions from your event to all other participants.
Under the Poppy icon you can learn more about the Doughboy Foundation and their mission
Under the MORE ... icon you will find a series of news and update articles about Bells of Peace and related topics. This includes video tutorials on using the App, how to hook into PA systems, news, tips and more.
and begin your journey of discovery into your WWI heritage.
Over 100 pages of great information and guidance. Over 250 live links to resources on the Web. A guide to find military AND non-combatant women WWI participants. From Author Debra Dudek, with a foreword by Col Gerald York, Grandson of Medal of Honor recipient Alvin York.
Thanks to our generous supporters for making the free WWI Genealogy Guide possible.