Veterans Day 2015
Honoring Those Who Served
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.
2015 Veterans Day Events
Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015
6:30 p.m.: In Memoriam: Songs of the Great War - The Brooklyn Art Song Society performs “In Memoriam: Songs of the Great War,” a program featuring works by British composers whose lives were cut tragically short by World War I: William Dennis Browne, George Butterworth and Ivor Gurney. The performers for this program include Missouri-native tenor Dominic Armstrong, baritone Jarrett Ott and pianist and BASS artistic director Michael Brofman. Cash bar and small plates are available at 6 p.m. with the performance beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for Museum members and $12 for non-members. Veterans will be admitted free with RSVP as guests of the Museum.
Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015
Museum Galleries Open: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
All Day: Free admission to the public
Veterans Day is supported through the generosity of the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund of Kansas City, Missouri. Admission to the Museum and all events are free to the public through the generosity of Jackson County Executive and Jackson County Legislature. Additional parking is available at Union Station (regular fees apply) with a complimentary shuttle from the West Yards Garage to the Museum.
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.: Disabled American Veterans/Red Racks Donation Drive - In honor of Veteran's Day, Red Racks, owned and operated by the Disabled American Veterans, 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.
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.: Day in the Life - Living history volunteers will be on site to share stories of the Great War era and make history come to life!
10 a.m.: Veterans Day Ceremony - Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II, Mayor Sly James, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders and French Deputy General Consul Jean-Christophe Paris are expected for a public Veterans Day Ceremony in J.C. Nicholas Auditorium with a keynote address from Army University Provost Brigadier General John S. Kem. The ceremony also features a presentation of Bronze Star and French Legion of Honor medals to WWII veterans from Brigadier General Kem and French officer Colonel Nicholas Auboin, a National Anthem performance from KSHB meteorologist Kalee Dionne, musical performances from the 1st Infantry Division Brass Quintet and The American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City Wind Ensemble, presentation of colors from the Whiteman Air Force Base Honor Guard and a Benediction/Invocation by Rabbi Beryl Padorr. Live stream link.
1 p.m. - Walk of Honor Ceremony - nearly 100 new Walk of Honor bricks will be dedicated during the ceremony in J.C. Nichols Auditorium featuring patriotic songs by more than 50 members of the Lyric Opera performance group Veterans Who Love to Sing + Singers Who Love Veterans, remarks from Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn and a keynote address from author James Heiman. Live stream link.
All Day: Veterans Day marks the final day for viewing of The World Remembers exhibition, which honors combatants who perished in World War I in 1915 from 12 different nations. Patrons may also view the special exhibitions The Second Battlefield: Nurses in the First World War, Sand to Snow: Global War 1915 and A Centenary of Australian War Art.
Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015
1:30 p.m.: Latino Americans: 500 Years of History - The event builds on the PBS documentary film series via a discussion led by Dr. Norma Cantú, UMKC professor of Latina/Latino Studies, addressing the experience of Latinas/Latinos in various American wars. She will also moderate a discussion by a panel of Latino veterans. The program will incorporate oral histories created by Latina/Latino Studies students from UMKC and will be preceded by a screening of the series episode “War and Peace.” Free to the public with RSVP.