The cannon is a three-inch calibre Model 1905 field gun, made from nickel and steel. It is a breechloader, with ordnance loaded from the back of the gun. The standard length of this model is seven feet, with a weight of nearly 800 pounds. It was built at the U. S. Army's arsenal in Watervliet, New York.
A local veterans' group obtained the cannon in the 1950s. The American Legion Bicentennial Post 1976 acquired the cannon in the early 1980s and supported its restoration. A master wheelwright crafted new wooden wheels for the cannon as part of this restoration. The Post installed it as a memorial to the sacrifices made by veterans in maintaining freedom around the world, as stated on the historical marker. The cannon sits near at the intersection of Columbia Pike and Backlick Road in Annandale. The monument includes a small stone tablet next to the cannon with the quote: That which we do for ourselves dies with us. That which we do for others remains, attributed to Albert Pine.
The American Legion post continues to maintain the cannon, and initiated another restoration in 2018 to replace parts which had rusted out and to replace the wheels again. The restoration team, which included an Eagle Scout candidate, a collision repair restorer, and many volunteers, spent over 400 hours restoring the cannon, which returned to its place in June 2019.