Historical Marker Deadication: Spirit of the American Doughboy

Saturday, May 1, 2021

On May 1, 2021, the Georgia Historical Society will dedicate a new historical marker recognizing The Spirit of the American Doughboy. The marker will be dedicated in a closed ceremony in consideration of COVID-19 protocols.

The historical marker reads:

The Spirit of the American Doughboy

Following the United States’ entry into World War I (1917-1918), more than 100,000 Georgians were involved in the war effort, with the state suffering over 1,000 casualties. The rural community of Berrien County experienced an extraordinarily high rate of loss, particularly in the 1918 sinking of the troopship HMS Otranto, the greatest maritime disaster of the war. Answering President Woodrow Wilson’s call to honor those who died in the war, Berrien County commissioned the first Doughboy statue sculpted by Americus, Georgia, resident Ernest Moore Viquesney. Completed in 1921, the statue was unveiled in 1923 when the community raised the funds to acquire and install it. Known as “The Spirit of the American Doughboy,” the design was replicated all over the country to memorialize soldiers lost during World War I.

Erected by the Georgia Historical Society and the Berrien Historical Foundation