Free public Memorial Day ceremony to be Monday at World War I Museum

A free public Memorial Day ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27, at the National World War I Museum, Kansas City, Missouri. Free events will be held from Friday through Monday. (Submitted photo)

The National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, will be the site of a free public Memorial Day ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27.

The ceremony is part of a weekend full of activities and events honoring men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country.

At the ceremony in the Memorial Courtyard, U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II and Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James are expected to participate.

Musical performances from Nashville music artist and Kansas City area native Casi Joy and a keynote address from U.S. World War I Centennial Commissioner Monique Seefried are planned.

Later, Casi Joy will meet visitors and fans from 12:30 to 1 p.m. May 27 at the museum.

On Memorial Day weekend, Friday through Monday, May 24-27, there will be free general admission for veterans and active-duty military, and half-price general admission for the public to the World War I Museum.

Other events that are free and open to the public on Memorial Day weekend at the World War I Museum include:

A Memorial Day Bell Tolling Ceremony at noon Monday, May 27, will commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice. There will be a presentation of colors and wreath-laying.

A Walk of Honor Brick Dedication will take place at 2 p.m. Monday, May 27, at the World War I Museum, with more than 100 new bricks dedicated. Casi Joy will give a musical performance at this dedication.

Research stations will help the public find their connections to World War I. The stations will feature Fold3.com, Ancestry.com, the museum’s online collections database, records from the American Battlefield Monuments Commission records and the National Archives. This will be available from May 24-27.

Flags of Forgotten Soldiers Display — One hundred forty U.S. flags will be installed in front of the World War I Museum and Liberty Memorial to call attention to the 140 veterans lost to suicide every week.

Letters of Support – Operation Gratitude will enable visitors to send letters of support to veterans, deployed soldiers, new recruits and first responders from Friday, May 24, through Monday, May 27.

Vintage Military Vehicle Display – Nearly 20 vehicles will be on the Museum and Memorial grounds from World War II, Korean War and Operation Desert Storm from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25, and Sunday, May 26, and a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25, through Monday, May 27.

Hands-on History – People of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 25.

Wounded Warriors Family Support “High Five” Tour – On its national tour, the 2019 Ford-150 truck with patriotic images and a Purple Heart will make a stop on the museum grounds for visitors to sign the vehicle with messages of support for wounded veterans, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 26, through Monday, May 27.

Craft Your Own Poppy – Visitors may design their own poppy with felt pins and ornaments from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, May 26.

Celebration at the Station — This event opens at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 26, on the north lawn outside the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and includes a concert at 8 p.m. by the Kansas City Symphony. The symphony, led by music director Michael Stern, will perform patriotic favorites against the backdrop of Union Station. It will conclude with a fireworks display over the Liberty Memorial at the National World War I Museum and Memorial. This event is free to the public.

There is a charge for the Monday pancake breakfast and for touring the inside of the museum. Veterans and active-duty military receive free admission to the museum on Memorial Day weekend, Friday through Monday, while the public will be admitted at half-price.

Pancake Breakfast – A pancake breakfast will benefit the National World War I Museum and Memorial from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday, May 27. The meals are $11 for adults and $6 for children (12 and under) and include a beverage.

Museum exhibitions – Visitors will have the opportunity to view recently opened special exhibitions: “1919: Peace?” “We’re Home – Now What?” “Color of Memory: Fabric Art of WWI” and “Devastated Lands.”

Food trucks will have food for purchase at various times Saturday, May 25, through Monday, May 27, on the southeast lawn outside the National World War I Museum and Memorial. They are scheduled 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Monday, and noon to 3 p.m. Saturday through Monday. Their availability may be subject to the weather.

The National World War I Museum and Memorial will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday. To accommodate expected high Memorial Day weekend attendance, additional parking will be available on the Southeast lawn of the complex, weather permitting.

The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum and Memorial holds the most comprehensive collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war.

For more information, visit theworldwar.org.

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