Illinois WWI Memorials In Line For Restoration Funds

CHICAGO (CBS) — To mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, sites across the country, including six in Illinois, are being designated as Centennial Memorials and getting some financial help.

President and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library Kenneth Clarke said WWI memorials have been through a lot.

“They’ve been rained on, snowed on and they have occasionally been vandalized.”

Two-thousand dollars in matching grants for 100 U.S. memorials will certainly help, but Clarke knows it’s about more than the money.

“It’s also that national designation as a Centennial Memorial that’s driving people to apply.”

The full list will come out next year, but the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission has already revealed the first 50.

“There is one in Chicago,” Clarke said. “It’s at 35th and King and it’s called the Victory Memorial. It commemorates Illinois’ 370th Infantry, also known as the Old 8th Illinois. There are so many historical importances to that particular monument. They were under African American command and that was kind of a first in America. They were an all-black unit on the South Side of Chicago.”

Morton Grove, Riverside, Wheaton, Winnetka and Glen Carbon also had memorials make the list.

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