Memorial Day 2020 Commemoration Activities

Honoring Those Who Served

As America’s Congressionally-designated World War I museum and memorial, the National WWI Museum and Memorial honors and recognizes the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country in conjunction with Memorial Day.

In 2020, the Museum and Memorial offers a modified program in conjunction with the continued social distancing measures due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus. While the Museum will be closed, three moving ceremonies will be streamed online to help the public pay respect to those who bravely served. The grounds of the Museum and Memorial remain open to the public and feature a striking display of U.S. flags in recognition of veteran suicide.


When: 10 a.m.; Monday, May 25, 2020
Where: Free online stream
What: A moving program to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice featuring remarks from dignitaries such as Missouri U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, Kansas U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, Kansas U.S. Representative Sharice Davids, Sporting KC star Khiry Shelton, musical performances from Kansas City native and Nashville recording artist Casi Joy (NBC’s “The Voice”) and much more.

Watch the Memorial Day Ceremony, starting at 10 a.m., Central Daylight Time


When: Noon; Monday, May 25, 2020
Where: Free online stream
What: We commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice with a bell tolling ceremony. 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.

Watch the Bell Tolling Ceremony, starting at noon, Central Daylight Time


When: 2 p.m.; Monday, May 25, 2020
Where: Free online stream
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.

Watch the Walk of Honor Dedication Ceremony, starting at 2 p.m., Central Daylight Time


When: All Day; Thursday-Monday, May 14-25, 2020
Where: Memorial Mall 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.

Memorial Day is the day Americans come together in united remembrance for the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country. This year, many of us will come together in spirit, instead of in person.

Join us in honoring them this Memorial Day by engaging in any of the following acts of commemoration and sharing with your community using #MemorialDayAtHome on social media:

  • Share the names and photographs of your loved ones who served.
  • Take a moment to reflect at your local war memorial.
  • Wear a poppy pin (the symbol of remembrance) and share a photo to encourage others to do the same.
  • Send a note to those on the frontlines through a digital letter writing system created by Operation Gratitude.