The National WWI Museum and Memorial will continue to capture the world’s attention this weekend with a flurry of activities to commemorate the centennial of the World War I Armistice on Sunday.
Highlights include Peace and Remembrance, the spectacular illumination of America’s official World War I Memorial that began last Friday and continues through Armistice Day on Sunday in recognition of the 9 million soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Great War.
Comprised of nearly 55 million pixels to cover the Memorial with red poppies – a traditional symbol for commemorating military personnel who died inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Field.” Peace and Remembrance is viewable from a significant distance.
From today (Friday) through Sunday, admission to the Museum and Memorial is free for veterans and active-duty military personnel; general admission for the public is half-price.
On Sunday, Nov. 11, the multi-national Armistice Commemoration Ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Museum’s Memorial Courtyard. Free to the public, this special ceremony features moving readings of letters from soldiers, poetry, musical performances and more.
Armistice Commemoration – Friday to Sunday, Nov. 9-11
When: All Day through Sunday, Nov. 11
Where: Reflection Pool outside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: Artist Ada Koch’s moving installation features 117 intricate metal poppy sculptures in a symbolic arrangement. Each poppy represents 1,000 American soldiers killed during the Great War.
When: Friday-Sunday, Nov. 9-11 (6 p.m.-1 a.m.)
Where: North Lawn outside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: The official WWI Memorial of the United States will be illuminated with a nearly 55 million pixel, 800,000 lumens display featuring more than 5,000 poppies each evening with a massive and moving light installation. Every 15 minutes, special presentations of images, footage and details about World War I will appear. The public is welcome to view the illumination from the grounds of the Museum and Memorial with the North Lawn being the best viewing location. Parking is available in the Museum and Memorial lots as well as along Kessler Road. In the event of inclement weather, the illumination will pause until the weather clears.
World War I Research Stations:
When: All Day, Friday-Sunday, Nov. 9-11
Where: Outside J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby inside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: Find your connection to World War I during Memorial Day weekend through research stations. 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.
Vehicle Donation to Combat-Wounded Veteran:
When: 2 p.m. today (Friday, Nov. 9)
Where: South Lawn outside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: Join Robert Brogden Buick GMC, Wells Fargo and Military Warriors Support Foundation for a special payment-free vehicle presentation to retired U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Steven Wacker. FREE to the public
Craft Your Own Poppy:
When: 10 a.m. -Noon, Saturday, Nov. 10
Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby inside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What:Commemorate the Armistice by creating your own felt poppy pin or ornament in this family-friendly craft experience. FREE to the public.
When: 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 10
Where: Near Paul Sunderland Glass 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.
When: 9:30 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 11
Where: Memorial Courtyard outside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: Join us for a commemoration of the Armistice of 1918 featuring representatives from more than 10 nations around the world, moving readings of poems and letters from soldiers, musical performances and more. FREE to the public.
Bells of Peace:
When: 10:55 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 11
Where: Memorial Courtyard outside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: Exactly 100 years after fighting ceased in Europe, organizations across the globe participate in a traditional bell tolling to commemorate this momentous event. Those unable to attend the ceremony are also invited to toll bells at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 to honor those who served. Collectively, the sound of bells represent this incredible moment of peace. The bell used for this ceremony was originally located at one of the federal buildings 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.FREE to the public.
Walk of Honor Dedication Ceremony:
When: 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 11
Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium inside the National WWI Museum and Memorial
What: More than 100 new Walk of Honor granite bricks will be dedicated during a special ceremony. The Walk of Honor, now more than 11,000 bricks strong, 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.
Where: Wylie Gallery
What: Hailed as “remarkably prescient” by the New York Times, this special exhibition examines the American Jewish battlefield and homefront participation through a series of remarkable stories and objects. Featured items including Irving Berlin’s draft registration card and the handwritten draft of the Balfour Declaration, which eventually paved the way for the establishment of the Jewish state. Closes Sunday, Nov. 11.
Where: Memory Hall
What: Australian and American troops fought side-by-side for the first time in July 1918 during World War I. Since then, the Diggers (Australians) and Doughboys (Americans) supported each other in every major military conflict, including Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. This exhibition features incredible artwork from the Australian War Memorial Collection illustrating the unique comradeship between the two countries.
Where: Main Gallery
What: The World Remembers is an international education project whose purpose is to remember and honor these combatants who perished during each year of the war by displaying their names in more than 75 locations throughout Europe and North America for a period of eight weeks ending with the Western Front Armistice Day of Nov. 11. Closes Sunday, Nov. 11.
Where: Ellis Gallery
What: Creating art when surrounded by war seems contradictory. Artists Jean Lefort, Curtiney George Foote, Charles Thatcher Shellabarger, Myron Chapin and Jean Berne-Bellecour demonstrate several ways one can capture wartime experiences using the fields, villages, and people who witnessed the devastation of WWI. Closes Jan. 13, 2019.
Where: Exhibit Hall
What: For the Doughboys on the Western Front, 1918 was their year. It was the crucible where the American land forces forged their fighting force. They fought alongside their main allies from Cantigny to Belleau Wood to the Champagne Region, the Piave River to the Marne to St. Mihiel to the Meuse Argonne to Vladivostok. This exhibition is not an illustration or timeline of how the 1918 battles were fought, rather it focuses on individuals and their lives and deaths in the crucible of 1918. Closes March 10, 2019.
Armistice Day Weekend Hours and Parking
The National WWI Museum and Memorial will be open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday and from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. To accommodate expected high Armistice Day Weekend attendance, additional parking will be available on the Southeast lawn of the complex (weather permitting).
The United States World War One Centennial Commission is the presenting sponsor of the Museum and Memorial’s Armistice Commemoration activities with Pioneer Services serving as the premier sponsor and Jackson County Executive and Legislature, the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund of Kansas City, Mo., and Wells Fargo providing additional support.
Click here for a complete list of Armistice Commemoration Activities.