Remembering the Great War

Victory Memorial Drive

Victory Memorial Drive

Trees and monuments along Victory Memorial Drive honor the 568 Hennepin County service men and women who died in World War I. Dedicated to fallen soldiers in 1921 and rededicated in 2011, the drive is located in the northwest area of Minneapolis and the eastern border of Robbinsdale. Victory Memorial Drive is part of the historic 50-mile Grand Rounds Scenic Byway System owned and managed by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

November 11, 2018, marked the 100-year anniversary of the WWI armistice, which ended fighting on land, sea and air between U.S. allies and their last opponent, Germany. The armistice called for a ceasefire effective at 11 a.m. Paris time on November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month).

Armistice anniversary event – November 11, 2018

Hennepin County, in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and City of Robbinsdale, recognized Veterans Day and the 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice on Sunday, November 11, 10 a.m.

Featured program:

  • Lowering of the flag
  • Prominent speakers on the war's local history
  • Musician Robert Robinson
  • 21-gun salute
  • Moment of silence at 11 a.m.

View the full event program (PDF)

Remembering World War I soldiers group – Join the public group to view and share stories of soldiers from Hennepin County.

Library events and activities

Hennepin County Library also hosted Veterans Day and World War I – related events this fall at multiple locations:


Dedication in 1921

More than 30,000 spectators joined international leaders in dedicating Victory Memorial Drive on June 11, 1921. Included as part of the ceremonies were messages from U.S. President Warren Harding and Vice President Calvin Coolidge.

More than 1,000 elm trees – 568 serving as living memorials for fallen soldiers – lined the street. A flagpole plaza, small park and statue of Abraham Lincoln were constructed in the northwest corner of the drive.

Rededication in 2011

Hennepin County worked with community partners and local veterans to rededicate the memorial in 2011. Improvements include a revamped flagpole plaza, gateways marking the entries to the drive, expanded flowerbeds, new lighting, sidewalks and a resurfaced road. New trees replace those that had died of Dutch elm disease.

Several thousand community members attended the event which featured a flyover, live music, and exhibits of war artifacts and machinery.