Remembrance + Recognition: Memorial Day Weekend Events to Honor Nation’s Heroes at the National World War I Museum May 22 to 25

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AVTT Traveling Vietnam Wall on Display at the National World War 1 Museum throughout Memorial Day Weekend 2015; Free admission on Memorial Day, May 25

Natioanal World war I Museum at Liberty Memorial-Inscription at Base of Liberty Memorial

As the commemoration of the Centennial of World War I (2014 to 2019) continues, the National World 1 Museum serves as a fitting place to honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country during Memorial Day weekend.

Summary of 2015 Memorial Day Weekend Events to Honor Our Nation’s Heroes at the National World War I Museum May 22-25

  • The AVTT Traveling Vietnam Wall, an 80 percent scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be on public display (Friday, May 22, 6 p.m. – Monday, May 25, 3 p.m.)
  • Vintage military vehicle display of nearly 30 vehicles from World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm (Saturday-Monday, May 22-25; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • Donation Drive for Disabled American Veterans/Red Racks Thrift Stores (Saturday-Monday, May 22-25; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • Pancake breakfast benefitting the National World War I Museum (Saturday, May 23; 8-10 a.m.)
  • Hands-on History program where children of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts (Sat, May 23; 10:30 a.m.)
  • Where the Poppies Grow, a family-friendly presentation from award-winning author Linda Granfield about the meaning and symbolism of the poppy (Saturday, May 23; 11 a.m.)
  • Coolies to Rebels: Vietnam and WWI, a presentation from Dr. Kimloan Hill and Museum President & CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor explores the relationships and connections between WWI and Vietnam (Saturday, May 23; 1 p.m.)
  • Wounded Warriors Family Support High Five Tour Vehicle Display (Sunday-Monday, May 24-25; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • The Nation’s WWI Museum and Memorial, a presentation from Museum Senior Curator Doran Cart examining the history of America’s official WWI museum and memorial (Sunday, May 24; 1 p.m.)
  • USFAA Truman Chapter Ruck March, free spectator event on the north lawn of the Museum (Monday, May 25; 8 a.m.)
  • Free admission on Memorial Day (Monday, May 25; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • Senator Roy Blunt, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II and Mayor Sly James, expected for public Memorial Day Ceremony in the Memorial Courtyard (Monday, May 25; 10 a.m.)
  • RezVets and The Writers Place “six-word memoir” writing exercise about experiences in Vietnam or memories of the war for Kansas Citians visiting the AVTT Traveling Vietnam Wall.
  • Nearly 100 New “Walk of Honor” Bricks to be dedicated during ceremony featuring patriotic songs and presentation of all new honorees (Monday, May 25; 1-2 p.m.)

The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial is America’s only museum dedicated to examining the personal experiences of the Great War and its enduring impact. As the commemoration of the Centennial of World War I (2014 to 2019) continues, the Museum serves as a fitting place to honor and recognize the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country during Memorial Day weekend.

The Museum offers more than 10 events during the course of the weekend, including the AVTT Traveling Vietnam Wall, an 80 percent scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. measuring nearly 400 feet long. The AVTT Traveling Vietnam Wall, supported by UMB Bank, will be accessible following the 6 p.m. opening ceremony on Friday, May 22 through the 2 p.m. closing ceremony on Monday, May 25. The Museum is seeking volunteers to assist with hosting the Wall. For more information, visit theworldwar.org/vietnamvolunteer.

The Museum will offer free admission to the public on Memorial Day (May 25) courtesy of Lead Bank. The public ceremony at 10 a.m. features officials, dignitaries and patriotic performances.

Additional Memorial Day Weekend support was provided by Park University, Armed Forces Insurance, the Kansas Speedway, Cumulus Media, KMBC, Capitol Federal, the VFW and the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center.

The AVTT Traveling Vietnam Wall
When: Friday, May 22 – Monday, May 25
Where: Southeast Lawn at the National World War I Museum
What: The AVTT Traveling Vietnam Wall is an 80 percent scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. measuring nearly 400 feet long. Seen by hundreds of thousands of people across the country, the Wall is accessible to the public for viewing beginning with an opening ceremony featuring the 1st Infantry Division on Friday at 6 p.m. through the closing ceremony on Monday at 2 p.m. Daily ceremonies occur at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Free to the public.

Vietnam Era Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” Helicopter Display
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, May 22 – Monday, May 25
Where: South Walkway Entrance, Walk of Honor Section at the National World War I Museum
What: The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #243 will provide an iconic Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” helicopter for display. Free to the public.

Vintage Military Vehicle Display
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 23 – Monday, May 25
Where: Southeast Lawn at the National World War I Museum
What: The Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) will display nearly 30 vintage military vehicles from World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm. Vehicles will include a rare Ford amphibious vehicle, a WWI Ford Model T Scout Car, a WWII half-ton truck with a mounted 40 millimeter anti-aircraft gun and a Hummer from Operation Desert Storm. MVPA members will be available to answer questions about their collection. Free to the public.

Disabled American Veterans/Red Racks Donation Drive
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 23 – Monday, May 25
Where: U-Shaped Drive at the National World War I Museum
What: In honor of Memorial Day weekend, Red Racks, owned and operated by the Disabled American Veterans organization, and the National World War I Museum are hosting a donation drive in the U-Shaped Drive near the walkway leading to the Museum entrance. Accepted items include: gently used clothing, shoes, household items/décor and children’s toys. All donations are tax deductible.

National World War I Museum Benefit Pancake Breakfast
When: 8-10 a.m., Saturday, May 23
Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby at the National World War I Museum
What: Enjoy flapjacks in a unique setting with proceeds benefiting the National World War I Museum.

Hands-on History
When: 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 23
Where: Main Gallery at the National World War I Museum
What: History is brought to life during this family-friendly program, where kids of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts.

Where the Poppies Grow
When: 11 a.m., Saturday, May 23
Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby at the National World War I Museum
What: Listen and participate with award-winning author Linda Granfield as she highlights the meaning behind the Museum's poppy field with John McCrae's In Flanders Fields and her prize book, Where Poppies Grow: A World War I Companion. Free to the public with RSVP (visit Museum’s website to RSVP).

Coolies to Rebels: Vietnam & WWI
When: 1 p.m., Saturday, May 23
Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium at the National World War I Museum
What: Vietnamese soldiers and workers rallied behind the French flag during World War I, yet their experiences in in Europe changed their lives and their attitudes toward France, its people and ultimately altered the course of the French colonial enterprise in Indochina. Join Dr. Kimloan Hill and Dr. Matthew Naylor as they explore the stories and relationships that set the path to revolution, war and ultimately national independence in Vietnam. Free to the public with RSVP (visit Museum’s website to RSVP).

Wounded Warriors Family Support High Five Tour Vehicle Display
When: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday May 24 – Monday, May 25
Where: South Walkway Entrance, Walk of Honor Section at the National World War I Museum
What: The sixth annual High Five Tour features a 2015 Ford Explorer and 2015 Ford F-150 designed to accommodate disabled veterans that will travel more than 26,000 miles across the U.S. while visiting 100 cities in 48 states. Americans of all walks of life are invited and encouraged to show their support for our military families by signing the tour vehicles with a message of support. Free to the public.

The Nation’s WWI Museum and Memorial
When: 1 p.m., Sunday, May 24
Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium at the National World War I Museum
What: Join Museum Senior Curator Doran Cart in an engaging conversation about America's official World War I museum and memorial. The National World War I Museum received official designation from Congress as the nation’s WWI museum in 2004. In December 2014, President Barack Obama signed legislation recognizing Liberty Memorial as a national monument. Free to the public with RSVP (visit Museum’s website to RSVP).

Ruck March
When: 8 a.m., Monday, May 25
Where: North lawn at the National World War I Museum
What: The Truman Chapter of the U.S. Field Artillery Association hosts a 5k and 15k Ruck March. A Ruck March, also called a “forced march” or a “hump,” involves walking at a fast clip over rugged terrain with a weighted backpack. In the Armed Forces, participants carry at least 45 lbs. in their backpack, in addition to their helmet, canteens, shoulder harness and weapon. Free for spectators.

Memorial Day Ceremony
When: 10-11 a.m., Monday, May 25
Where: Memorial Courtyard (in front of Memory Hall) at the National World War I Museum
What: A formal public program to include:

  • Remarks from dignitaries including U.S. Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, U.S. Missouri Fifth District Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II and Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James (a former U.S. Marine)
  • Placing the POW/MIA Chair Cover by Col. David Napoli (the POW/MIA chair cover is a physical symbol of the thousands of American POW/MIAs still unaccounted for from all foreign conflicts)
  • National Anthem performance by renowned operatic tenor Vinson Cole
  • Musical performances by the NorthWinds Symphonic Band

RezVets/The Writers Place
When: Noon-2 p.m., Monday, May 25
Where: Southeast Lawn at the National World War I Museum
What: Join RezVets and The Writers Place for a writing exercise for Kansas Citians visiting the AVTT Traveling Vietnam Wall. Participants will be asked to write a six-word memoir about their experiences in Vietnam or their memories of the war. This exercise attempts to have writers tell a story with the absolute minimum of words. An example is Hemingway's well-known six word memoir: "For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Worn."

Walk of Honor Dedication Ceremony
When: 1-2 p.m., Monday, May 25
Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium in the National World War I Museum
What: More than 100 new Walk of Honor granite bricks will be dedicated during a special ceremony. Entertainment will include patriotic songs by renowned performer Michael Coakley. The Walk of Honor, now more than 10,000 bricks strong, is divided into three sections: bricks dedicated solely to those who served in World War I; bricks dedicated to veterans of any military service; and bricks that honor civilian friends, family or organizations. Walk of Honor bricks are dedicated twice each year during Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies.

Memorial Day Weekend Hours and Parking
The National World War I Museum will be open on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Monday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Access to the Vietnam Traveling Wall is available at any time from Friday at 6 p.m. through Monday at 3 p.m. To accommodate expected high Memorial Day weekend attendance, a parking shuttle service will be available Saturday, May 23 through Monday, May 25 from the West Yards Garage at Union Station.

About the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial is the only American museum solely dedicated to examining the personal experiences of a war whose impact still echoes in the world today. The National World War I Museum holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war. The Museum takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National World War I Museum inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit theworldwar.org.

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