Admission to the National WWI Museum and Memorial will be free for veterans and active-duty military this Memorial Day weekend, May 24-27. Admission for the public will be half price.
National WWI Museum and Memorial Director of Communications Mike Vietti said the purpose of the Memorial Day weekend events is to have a place for the community to gather and honor those who have served our country.
“It truly is a special weekend to honor those who gave their lives for this country,” Vietti said. “If you’re not able to come, it’s really important to spend a few minutes to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice these people have made. This is our way of giving back to those who have bravely served our country and for those who have lost loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”
The museum will host these public events and displays:
- Flags of Forgotten Soldiers: Every 72 minutes, a service member takes his or her own life, according to The Department of Veterans Affairs. This moving display of 140 U.S. flags honors the 140 veterans lost to suicide every week. It will be at Walkway Terrace near the main entrance of the National WWI Museum and Memorial.
- Pancake Breakfast: Breakfast will be available at Over There Café inside the National WWI Museum and Memorial. The meals are $11 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. Proceeds will benefit the National WWI Museum and Memorial.
- Letters of Support: Visitors can send letters of support to veterans, deployed soldiers, new recruits and first responders all day May 24-27 outside Wylie Gallery in the National WWI Museum and Memorial.
- Wounded Warrior Family Support High-Five Tour Vehicle: On its national tour, the 2019 Ford-150 truck embellished with patriotic images and a purple heart will make a stop at South Walkway Entrance from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 26-27. Visitors can write messages of support for wounded veterans on the vehicle.
- Vintage Military Vehicle Display: A Vietnam War-era “Huey” helicopter and about 20 vehicles from World War II, Korean War, Operation Desert Storm will be on Southeast Lawn outside the museum and memorial from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 25-26. A Vietnam War-era “Huey” helicopter will be at Rectangular Drive from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 25-27.
- Find Your Connection to WWI: Visitors can discover their connection to WWI at research stations that offer free access to historic databases. These stations will be available to the public all day May 24-27
- Memorial Day Ceremony: Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II and Kansas City Mayor Sly James will host a free, public ceremony in the Memorial Courtyard featuring musical performances from Nashville recording artist and Kansas City native Casi Joy, who was on “The Voice.” The keynote speaker is U.S. World War I Centennial Commissioner Monique Seefried. The ceremony begins 10 a.m. May 27.
- Casi Joy Meet and Greet: Joy will be available to meet fans 12:30-1 p.m. May 27.
- Memorial Day Bell Tolling Ceremony:The museum will commemorate veterans with a bell tolling, presentation of colors, wreath laying and special readings at noon May 27 at the Memorial Courtyard.
- Hands-on History: The public is invited to handle Great War artifacts at 11 a.m. May 25 near Paul Sunderland Bridge inside the National WWI Museum and Memorial.
- Craft Your Own Poppy: Visitors can design their own poppy with felt pins and ornaments 11 a.m.-1 p.m. May 26 at the J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby inside the National WWI Museum and Memorial.
- 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.
- Bank of America Celebration at the Station: The Kansas City Symphony will perform patriotic songs outside Union Station. The performance concludes with a fireworks display over the Liberty Memorial. This event is free.
The National WWI Museum and Memorial will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 24-26 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Memorial Day. Additional parking will be available on the Southeast lawn of the complex.