More than 9 million combatants from the belligerent nations died in World War I, the largest number of any conflict in world history to that time.
The World Remembers is an international education project whose purpose is to remember and honor these combatants who perished during each year of the war by displaying their names in more than 75 locations throughout Europe and North America for a period of eight weeks ending with the Western Front Armistice Day of Nov. 11. For 1918, 1,003,167 names from 16 nations are represented.
The World Remembers is based in Toronto, Canada and is the idea of its producer, Robert Thomson, who had many relatives serve in the war, several becoming fatalities.
Starting in 2014, the project displayed hundreds of thousands of names each year. Also featuring images from WWI, the display ran for approximately 11 hours per day with the starting date fluctuating to allow enough time to display all names prior to sundown on Nov. 11 each year.
This process continued in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and concludes in 2018 with a display representing fatalities for 1918 to 1922 – the year the British Commonwealth War Graves Commission recognizes the last WWI deaths.
As a sponsor of the project, the National WWI Museum and Memorial initiated a process of assembling a comprehensive list of U.S. fatalities during the war. Combining 1917 and 1918, more than 90,000 U.S. names were collected for The World Remembers project of the estimated 117,000 American soldiers killed during World War I.
To date, this is the largest single repository of American soldier fatalities from the Great War. The Museum and Museum plans to continue its efforts to create the first comprehensive list of all American soldiers killed during World War I.