As in the title, this memorial stands for World War I soldiers that fought and gave their lives. The memorial stands in West Potomac Park slightly off of Independence Avenue in a grove of trees. Authorized by an act of Congress on June 7, 1924, funds to construct the memorial were provided by the contributions of both organizations and individual citizens of the District. Construction of the memorial began in the spring of 1931, and the memorial was dedicated by President Herbert Hoover on November 11, 1931 (Armistice Day). It was the first war memorial to be erected in West Potomac Park, part of the National Mall near the Lincoln Memorial, and remains the only local District memorial on the National Mall.
Designed by Washington architect Frederick H. Brooke, with Horace W. Peaslee and Nathan C. Wyeth as associate architects, the District of Columbia War Memorial is in the form of a 47-foot (14.3 m) tall circular, domed, peristyle Doric temple. Resting on concrete foundations, the 4 foot (1.2 m) high marble base defines a platform, 43 feet 5 inches (13.2 m) in diameter, intended for use as a bandstand. Preserved in the cornerstone of the District of Columbia World War Memorial is a list of 26,000 Washingtonians who served in the Great War. Inscribed on the base are the names of the 499 District of Columbia citizens who lost their lives in the war, together with medallions representing the branches of the armed forces. Twelve 22-foot (6.7 m) tall fluted Doric marble columns support the entablature and dome.
In September 2008, Rep. Ted Poe of Texas, with the support of Frank Buckles, then the last living US veteran of World War I, proposed a bill in Congress stating the memorial should be expanded and designated the national memorial to World War I.   
In July 2010, the National Park Service announced that restoration work, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, would soon begin on the memorial.  Work began in October 2010,  and the memorial reopened on November 10, 2011. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.