Memorial Day Weekend

Honoring Those Who Served (May 22-25)

 

The National World War I Museum and 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 (2014-19) 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 on the afternoon of Friday, May 22, including a 6 p.m. opening ceremony, through the 2:30 p.m. closing ceremony on Monday, May 25. 

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, Sporting KC, USFlagstore.com, Capitol Federal, the VFW, Midwest Sales and the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center.

 

Memorial Day Weekend Events

 

The AVTT Traveling Vietnam Wall
When: Friday, May 22 – Monday, May 25
Where: Southeast Lawn
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 beginning on Friday afternoon with an opening ceremony featuring the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division on Friday at 6 p.m. through the closing ceremony on Monday at 2:30 p.m. Daily ceremonies featuring the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team occur at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. The Wall is accessible to the public at any time, day or night, with the exception of 7-11 p.m. on Sunday. 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
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
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. 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 
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 and Memorial 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 and Memorial Benefit Pancake Breakfast
When: 8-10 a.m., Saturday, May 23
Where: Museum's Over There Cafe
What: Enjoy some flapjacks in a unique setting during a pancake breakfast with proceeds benefiting the National World War I Museum and Memorial.


Hands-on History
When: 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 23
Where: 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. 


Where Poppies Grow
When: 11 a.m., Saturday, May 23
Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby
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.


Coolies to Rebels: Vietnam & WWI
When: 1 p.m., Saturday, May 23
Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium
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.


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
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. People of all walks of life are invited and encouraged to show their support for 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
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.


Ruck March
When: 8 a.m., Monday, May 25
Where: North lawn
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)
What: A formal public program to include remarks from dignitaries, National Anthem performance by renowned operatic tenor Vinson Cole and musical performances by the NorthWinds Symphonic Band. Free to the public.

 

RezVets/The Writers Place
When: Noon-2 p.m., Monday, May 25
Where: Southeast Lawn 
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
What: More than 100 new Walk of Honor granite bricks will be dedicated during a special ceremony. 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. Free to the public. View a live stream

 

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 AVTT Traveling Vietnam Wall is available at any time from Friday afternoon through Monday at 3 p.m. with the exception of 7-11 p.m. on Sunday. 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. 

 

Memorial Day Weekend Activities Map