Private fundraising continues toward amassing the $46 million
necessary to construct the World War I Memorial in Pershing Park, a
less than two-acre parcel a stone’s throw from the White House.
The World War I Centennial Commission has
accomplished roughly 25 percent of that fundraising goal, which will
eventually include net surcharges from the proceeds of sales of Proof
and Uncirculated 2018-P World War I American Veterans Centennial
silver dollars. The purchase price of each silver dollar includes a
The net surcharges, after the U.S. Mint has recouped all of its
production and associated costs, will be paid to the United States
Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars, to assist the
World War I Centennial Commission in commemorating the 100th
anniversary of the end of World War I.
No surcharges are to be paid out until the conclusion of the
commemorative coin program in December 2018. No more coins can be
struck and issued after Dec. 31.
Based on sales through May 27 of 47,574 single Proof silver dollars,
57,579 Proof silver dollars in five different coin and medal sets, and
18,123 Uncirculated silver dollars, $1,232,760 in gross surcharges
have been generated.
As currently being developed, with final plans still to be approved,
the memorial will comprise bronze bas relief walls depicting an
American soldier leaving for war, soldiers engaging in battle, some
being wounded, and the return home to family.
“The Weight of Sacrifice” project was developed by Joe Weishaar, a
neophyte architect who while an intern in Chicago in 2016, had his
architectural concept selected from among more than 350 applicants.
The bronze bas reliefs for the 56-foot-long walls are to be executed
by classical figurative sculptor Sabin Howard.
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The initial goal for completion of the memorial was November 2018,
to coincide with the centennial anniversary, but that has been moved
back because of recommended revisions to Weishaar’s original design.
The Commission of Fine Arts and other advisory bodies have still not
given final approval.
The CFA reviewed the latest revisions at its May 17 meeting. In its
May 24 letter to the National Park Service and World War I Centennial
Commission, CFA members “expressed their continuing support for a
design that balances two works of art — the existing Pershing Park by
[modernist landscape architect] M. Paul Friedberg and the proposed
linear relief sculpture by Sabin Howard — as an appropriate way to
commemorate World War I within a monumental and historic context.”
The CFA members “suggested that reversing the freestanding wall at
the west side of the pool—placing the relief sculpture facing the west
terraces for convenient viewing, and restoring a cascading fountain
facing east—would help to resolve many of the issues, including
eliminating the need for walkways through the pool which may
eventually require obtrusive and undesirable handrails. This simple
reorientation of the sculpture wall would have the welcome effect of
using the east side of the wall for the cascade in order to maintain
the established character of the park landscape, while creating a
focus for commemoration and contemplation on the west. They also
suggested other ideas that could help to resolve the design, such as
letting the sculpture emerge past the ends of the wall, returning the
sculpture around to the other side, or introducing water into the