Memorial Day Commemoration Activities

Honoring Those Who Served, May 22‑25, 2020

As America’s Congressionally-designated World War I museum and memorial, the National WWI Museum and Memorial serves as a fitting place to honor and recognize the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country in conjunction with Memorial Day.

The Museum and Memorial offers a variety of activities during Memorial Day Weekend, including a moving ceremony at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day, interactive activities and a number of special exhibitions.

During Memorial Day Weekend (Friday, May 22-Monday, May 25, 2020) admission to the Museum and Memorial is free for veterans and active duty military personnel, while general admission for the public is half-price.

Due to logistical issues, the AVTT Traveling Tribute Vietnam Memorial will not be hosted on the grounds of the museum and Memorial as previously announced. We hope to host the Memorial in 2021 and will announce dates once confirmed.



Memorial Day Weekend Activities

Our list of activities is constantly updating and expanding. Please check back frequently for updates.


FLAGS OF FORGOTTEN SOLDIERS DISPLAY

When: All Day; Friday-Monday, May 22-25
Where: Walkway Terrace near Main Entrance at the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that every 72 minutes, a service member takes his or her own life. This moving display of 140 U.S. flags calls attention to the fact that 140 veterans are lost to suicide every week. FREE to the public.



VIETNAM ERA BELL UH-1 IROQUOIS “HUEY” HELICOPTER DISPLAY

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday-Monday, May 22-25
Where: Rectangular Drive outside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #243 will provide an iconic Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” helicopter for people to climb aboard and inspect. FREE to the public.



WORLD WAR I RESEARCH STATIONS

When: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday-Monday, May 22-25
Where: R.A. Long Education Center inside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: Find your connection to World War I during Memorial Day weekend through research stations at the Museum. With access to multiple databases including, Fold3.com, Ancestry.com, the Museum and Memorial’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. FREE to the public.



LETTER WRITING

When: All Day; Friday-Monday, May 22-25
Where: Outside Museum Store inside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: Just as in World War I, letters help remind those who serve of home. In support of Operation Gratitude, write a letter to our veterans, deployed troops, new recruits and first responders. FREE to the public.



TREES OF REMEMBRANCE

When: All Day; Friday-Monday, May 22-25
Where: Near Paul Sunderland Bridge inside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: Who do you remember? Join the National WWI Museum and Memorial in commemorating those who have served their communities and nation with our Trees of Remembrance. Keep the memory of a loved one alive by writing their name on a poppy tag and hanging it on a branch. Together, we will remember them. FREE to the public.



VINTAGE MILITARY VEHICLE DISPLAY

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, May 23-24
Where: Southeast Lawn outside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: The Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) will display more than 20 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. Availability subject to weather. FREE to the public.



HANDS-ON HISTORY

When: 11 a.m.; Saturday, May 23
Where: Near Paul Sunderland Bridge inside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: History is brought to life during this family-friendly program, where kids of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts. FREE to the public.



BANK OF AMERICA CELEBRATION AT THE STATION

When: 3 p.m.; Sunday, May 24 (concert begins at 8 p.m.)
Where: North Lawn outside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: Kick off your summer with the largest free Memorial Day weekend event in the Midwest. The Kansas City Symphony, led by Music Director Michael Stern, performs patriotic favorites against the backdrop of Kansas City's historic Union Station. Celebration at the Station concludes with a fireworks display over the Liberty Memorial at the National WWI Museum and Memorial. FREE to the public.



NATIONAL WWI MUSEUM AND MEMORIAL BENEFIT PANCAKE BREAKFAST

When: 9-11 a.m.; Monday, May 25
Where: Over There Café inside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: Enjoy some flapjacks (with hashbrowns and sausage/bacon) in a unique setting during a pancake feed with proceeds benefiting the National WWI Museum and Memorial. The meals are $11 for adults and $6 for children (12 and under) and include a beverage.



MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY

When: 10-11 a.m.; Monday, May 25
Where: Memorial Courtyard outside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: A formal public program to include remarks from dignitaries and keynote address. FREE to the public.
Watch 2019's Ceremony



MEMORIAL DAY BELL TOLLING CEREMONY

When: Noon; Monday, May 25
Where: Memorial Courtyard outside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: We commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice with a bell tolling ceremony featuring a presentation of colors, a wreath laying and a moving reading. The bell used for this ceremony was originally located at a federal building in downtown Kansas City and was rung daily by the Daughters of the American Revolution during U.S. involvement in WWI (1917-1918). It was also tolled 11 times at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1926 during the dedication ceremony of the Liberty Memorial and again on Nov. 11, 2018 to commemorate the centennial of the WWI armistice. FREE to the public.



WALK OF HONOR DEDICATION CEREMONY

When: 2 p.m.; Monday, May 25
Where: Southeast Lawn outside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: Nearly 100 new Walk of Honor granite bricks will be dedicated during a special ceremony. The Walk of Honor 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.



MEMORIAL DAY COMMEMORATION HOURS AND PARKING

The National WWI Museum and Memorial will be open during regular operating hours except on Monday, May 25 when the Museum opens at 9 a.m. Visitors are encouraged to allot additional time/consideration for parking during this period of time.