US Army photo by Spc. Lauren Ogburn

Sgt. York's grandson "hates" that there's no WW1 memorial in DC

November 9, 2018

When Gerald York joined the Army, he had a lot to live up to. York is the grandson of legendary WW1 Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Alvin York, who is credited with singlehandedly capturing 132 German soldiers and killing 25 more in a single battle during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Gerald has done his grandfather proud, serving in Vietnam before retiring from the Army as a Colonel and now working to honor all vets of The Great War by promoting the planned WW1 memorial in Washington D.C.

While York says he is pleased that the memorial is closer to becoming a reality, he laments the missed opportunity to honor those veterans while they were still here to appreciate it.

"I hate that there wasn't a World War 1 memorial prior to the passing of all the veterans," York said during an appearance on ConnectingVets Daily. "But I think now there's two reasons why we need a memorial. One is to remember those that served, those that sacrificed. But the other one is it's not taught very much in school anymore. I think having a memorial in D.C., young people can come and learn and ask questions and see the impact."

While the memorial is planned to be installed in Pershing Park, and world-renowned sculptor Sabin Howard is already working on it, the funding to actually construct the memorial is the last piece of the puzzle. York hopes that the extra attention the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1 brings will also bring a funding windfall for the project.  

"People can go to to see how they can contribute or if corporations want to donate," York said. "It's a worthwhile project to remember those veterans and the sacrifices they made 100 years ago."

As it stands now, WW1 is the only 20th century war without a monument in our nation's capitol. But with the efforts of veterans like York, and organizations like the WW1 Centennial Commission, that may soon no longer be the case. 

You can hear the full interview with Col. Gerald York below.

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