“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!
Exhibits Opening August 30 and will run through December 30
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.
More information can be found at: https://www.columbushistory.org/wwi/
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 reccomendations expressed in this program do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowmnet for the Humanities.