Veterans Day Weekend Events to Honor Generations of Service at the National World War I Museum and Memorial

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Free Admission for Veterans and Active-Duty Military; Half-Price Admission for General Public Friday-Sunday, Nov. 10-12

The National World War I Museum and Memorial will honor veterans and active-duty military with free admission Veterans Day Weekend, Friday-Sunday, Nov. 10-12, and half-price admission for the public.

The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community.

As the commemoration of the centennial of World War I (2014-19) continues, the National World War I Museum and Memorial will honor veterans and active-duty military members with free admission during Veterans Day Weekend, Friday-Sunday, Nov. 10-12, and half-price admission for the general public. A slate of events and activities are planned, including a free, public ceremony on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

Honoring America’s Veterans: The 11th Day of the 11th Month
Firing on the First World War’s Western Front ended on Nov. 11, 1918 at “the eleventh hour on the 11th day of the 11th month.” After four years of fighting, an eerie stillness fell across the battlefields of Europe. The next day, Allied commander Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch sent a message to the Allied Armies: “You have won the greatest battle in history and served the most sacred cause - the Liberty of the World.”

Celebrating the end of war soon turned to sober remembrance of all who were lost. Armistice Day, officially recognized by President Wilson in 1919, is still observed throughout the world with many stopping for a moment of silence at the 11th hour of this day to honor those who brought about the end of the “Great War.” Known as Remembrance Day in many countries, the poppy is commonly worn and remains the symbol of commemoration originating from Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields.”

In 1954, after the return of veterans from both World War II and the Korean War, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill rededicating Nov. 11 as Veterans Day and encouraged Americans to commit themselves to the cause of peace and to honor America’s veterans for their courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice.

Veterans Day Weekend Activities
Veterans Day Weekend at the National World War I Museum and Memorial is supported by the Deluxe Corporation Foundation and the Kansas City Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund. Details about Veterans Day Weekend events and activities are below:

Discount Admission
When: Friday-Sunday, Nov. 10-12
Where: National World War I Museum and Memorial
What: Free admission for veterans and active-duty military personnel; half-price admission for the general public.

10% Off Online Museum Store Items
When: Friday-Sunday, Nov. 10-12
Where: Museum Online Store
What: During Veterans Day Weekend, all items on the Museum Online Store are 10% off using the code “Vet17”

Hope 22: Dark to Light Photo Exhibition
When: Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 11-12; special program: Noon on Saturday, Nov. 11
Where: National World War I Museum and Memorial Corridor
What: This local photography project’s goal is to raise awareness about our country’s veteran suicide epidemic by showcasing stories of veterans through pictures taken by area photographers. The name of the project stems from a Veterans Affairs report indicating that, on average, 22 veterans are killed by suicide every day. At Noon on Saturday, Nov. 11, join Brooke Brown, Creative Director/Founder of the project, for a presentation featuring some of the veteran participants and their stories in the J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby.

Vietnam Era Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” Helicopter Display
When: Friday-Sunday, Nov. 10-12
Where: National World War I Museum and Memorial Rectangular Drive
What: The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #243 will provide an iconic Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” helicopter for display in the Museum rectangular drive. Guests are welcome to inspect the helicopter, take photos and even climb inside!

World War I Research Stations
When: Friday-Sunday, Nov. 10-12
Where: National World War I Museum and Memorial Corridor
What: Find your connection to World War I during Veterans Day weekend through research stations at the Museum. With access to Fold3.com, Ancestry.com, the Museum’s online collections database, the American Battlefield Monuments Commission and the National Archives, discover how the Great War affected your family through records, photographs and much more.

Day in the Life with Living Historians
When: Saturday, Nov. 11
Where: National World War I Museum and Memorial
What: Living History volunteers will be on site to share stories of the Great War era and make history come to life!

Limestone Entrance Unveiling
When: 9:15 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 11
Where: National World War I Museum and Memorial Entrance
What: the public is invited to attend a brief ceremony unveiling the new limestone entrance to the National World War I Museum and Memorial. The project included meticulously removing the pre-existing massive limestone entrance weighing several tons and replacing it with more than 50-feet of limestone from a quarry in Indiana hand carved to reflect the recent designation from Congress as America’s official “National World War I Museum and Memorial.” The ceremony features remarks from dignitaries, including Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II and Museum President and CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor.

Veterans Day Ceremony
When: 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 11
Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium at the National World War I Museum and Memorial
What: A formal program free to the public includes:

  • Expected dignitaries include Kansas City, Mo. Mayor Sly James (a former U.S. Marine), Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II
  • Keynote address from Major General Maria R. Gervais, Deputy Commanding General, Combined Arms Center
  • Musical performances from The American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City Wind Ensemble and the Regency Place Special Chorus
  • Presentation of colors from Whiteman Air Force Base
  • Benediction/Invocation by Chaplain Major Insoon G. Hoagland

Walk of Honor Dedication Ceremony
When: 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 11
Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium at the National World War I Museum and Memorial
What: Nearly 100 new Walk of Honor granite bricks will be dedicated during a special ceremony featuring a keynote address from Colonel Rick Milligan, USAF (Ret.) and a performance from acclaimed vocalist and veteran Ron Gutierrez.

Hands-on-History
When: 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 11
Where: East Side of Main Gallery
What: History is brought to life during this family-friendly program, where kids of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts.

Veterans Day Weekend Hours
The National World War I Museum and Memorial will be open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10 and Sunday, Nov. 12 and from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11 (Veterans Day).

About the National World War I Museum and Memorial
The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum holds the most comprehensive 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 and Memorial 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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