Veterans Day 2017: GENERATIONS OF SERVICE
Discount Admission and Special Activities all Weekend
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.
Admission to the Museum is free for veterans and active duty military personnel, while admission for the general public is half-price all weekend (Friday-Sunday, Nov. 10-12).
Free admission for veterans and active duty military during Veterans Day Weekend is provided by the Kansas City Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund of Kansas City, Mo. Additional support for Veterans Day Weekend is provided by Jackson County Executive, Jackson County Legislature and the Deluxe Corporation Foundation.
All Weekend: Vietnam Era Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” Helicopter Display – 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!
All Weekend: World War I Research Stations – 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.
All Weekend: Patrons may also view the special exhibitions Revolutions! 1917, Posters as Munitions and Images of the Great War: America Crosses the Atlantic and The World Remembers (closes Saturday, Nov. 11).
9:15 a.m.: Limestone Entrance Unveiling – 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.
10 a.m.: Veterans Day Ceremony – Dignitaries including Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Kansas City Mayor Sly James and others are expected for a free public Veterans Day Ceremony in J.C. Nicholas Auditorium with a keynote address from Major General Maria R. Gervais, Deputy Commanding General, Combined Arms Center. The ceremony also features performances from The American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City Wind Ensemble, the Regency Place Special Chorus, a presentation of colors from Whiteman Air Force Base and a Benediction/Invocation by Chaplain Major Insoon G. Hoagland. Watch live on YouTube
2 p.m.: Walk of Honor Ceremony – nearly 100 new Walk of Honor bricks will be dedicated during the moving ceremony in J.C. Nichols Auditorium featuring a keynote address from Colonel Rick Milligan, USAF (Ret.) and a performance from acclaimed vocalist and veteran Ron Gutierrez. Watch live on YouTube
2 p.m.: Hands-on History – history is brought to life during this family-friendly program, where kids of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts at a display inside the Main Gallery.
SATURDAY, NOV. 11 - SUNDAY, NOV. 19
Hope 22: Dark to Light Photo Exhibition – 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. Visit facebook.com/hope22kc to learn more.
Veterans Day Weekend SaleReceive 10% off all items on the Museum Online Store when using code “Vet17”. (Friday-Sunday, Nov. 10-12)