Washington DC’s Pershing Park Officially to Become National WW1 Memorial Site

The statue of Gen. John J. "Blackjack" Pershing which stands in Washington DC's Pershing Park.

The statue of Gen. John J. “Blackjack” Pershing which stands in Washington DC’s Pershing Park.

Signed into law on December 19, 2014 by President Barack Obama,  H.R. 3979, the “Carl Levin and Howard P. ‘Buck’ McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, includes the designation of Washington DC’s Pershing Park as the United States’ national World War 1 memorial.

In the course of the past decade,  the lack of a national World War I  memorial in the nation’s Capital has generated a lively debate among varied points of view.  Some have suggested that the District of Columbia WW1 Memorial, located on the National Mall since the 1930s and recently restored by the National Park Service, be broadened to encompass the nation’s experience in “The War to End All Wars”, though residents of Washington DC, including Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, have been highly critical of these suggestions.  The passage of H.R. 3979 into law has now permanently shelved proposals to re-designate the District’s WW1 Memorial.

Plans for Pershing Park include landscaping improvements and augmentation of the existing memorial to Gen. John “Blackjack” Pershing with additional features honoring the American participation in the First World War.