“Voices of Remembrance” Memorial Day ceremonies slated at Liberty Memorial

Summary of Memorial Day Events

?Senator Roy Blunt, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II and Mayor Sly James, expected for public ceremony in the Memorial Courtyard at 10 a.m.

?More Than 80 New “Walk of Honor” Bricks To Be Dedicated During Ceremony at 1 p.m. Featuring Dramatic Reading of Letters from Fallen Soldiers by KC Actors John Rensenhouse and Jan Rogge

?New “Road to War” Special Centennial Exhibition Open on Memorial Day as Museum Prepares to Lead Nation’s Centennial Observances from 2014-2018

KANSAS CITY, MO. (May 22, 2013) — There is no place more fitting to begin Memorial Day observances in Kansas City on Monday, May 27, than at the “Voices of Remembrance” Memorial Day Ceremonies at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial. To honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces, the Museum will host a series of public Memorial Day events:

“Voices of Remembrance” Memorial Day Ceremony When: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday, May 27 Where: Memorial Courtyard (in front of Memory Hall) at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial (100 W. 26th Street, Kansas City, Mo. 64108); Ceremony is free to the public (regular admission applies to tour the Museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Memorial Day) What: Master of Ceremonies Steve VanBuskirk, Veterans of Foreign Wars program director, will lead a formal public program to include:
- Invocation from Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David Jenkins, Kansas National Guard - “Voices of Remembrance,” a special presentation of World War I letters from those who served and those who died read by the National World War I Museum’s senior curator, Doran Cart, and curator of education, Lora Vogt. - Remarks from dignitaries are expected from Missouri Senator Roy Blunt; Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II, U.S. representative for Missouri’s Fifth District; and Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James (a former U.S. Marine) - Placing the POW/MIA Chair Cover by Don Redding, Missouri Ex-POW (the POW/MIA chair cover is a physical symbol of the thousands of American POW/MIAs still unaccounted for from all foreign conflicts) - Placement of the Gold Star Wreath by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 21 - Parade of color guards from local military, ROTC, and Boy Scouts organizations - Musical performances from the American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City and the Kansas City St. Andrew Pipes & Drums - While the ceremony is free to the public, regular admission prices apply to tour the Museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Memorial Day.

The ceremony will include representation from various veterans, military and civic organizations, including: American Ex-Prisoners of War, Disabled American Veterans, The American Legion, United States Marine Corps, United States Coast Guard, Veterans Motorcycle Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Wounded Warrior Project. This event is supported by the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund.

Walk of Honor Dedication Ceremony When: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, May 27 Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium in the National World War I Museum What: More than 80 new Walk of Honor granite bricks will be dedicated during a special ceremony. Kansas City actors John Rensenhouse and Jan Rogge will perform a “Voices of Remembrance” presentation that will feature excerpts from letters from America’s other wars written by and about fallen service men and women. The Walk of Honor, now more than 8,500 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.

Vintage Military Vehicle Display When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27 Where: Southeast Lawn of the National World War I Museum What: The Military Vehicle Preservation Association “Hell on Wheels” Chapter will display vintage military vehicles to include vehicles from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. MVPA members will be available to answer questions about their collection. Free to the public.

Inaugural Centennial Exhibition: The Road to War When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, May 27 (open through April 20, 2014) Where: Exhibit Hall in the National World War I Museum What: To give perspective to the pivotal world events that led to World War I, the Museum has created an inaugural Centennial special exhibition: Road to War: World Power & Imperialism, 1904-1914.

The exhibition takes visitors down the road to war with a collection of remarkable objects and photographs from 1904-1914 that dramatically illustrate the influential events, countries and people of the period. The new exhibition takes an in-depth look at the major factors on the road to the Great War: European colonialism, American imperialism, expansion of global commerce, nationalism, the global arms race, and the social divides that led to unrest and revolt against imperial monarchies.

“The road to World War I was paved with struggles that continue to impact our world today—the dichotomy between wealthy and poor, control over resources, religious differences and ethnic rivalries—all with an underlying basic human motivation to protect and defend,” said Doran Cart, senior curator at the National World War I Museum. The new limited-run exhibition (now through April 20, 2014) is included with Museum admission.

Centennial Commission Memorial Day marks an exciting time for the National World War I Museum as plans take shape for the National World War I Museum to lead the nation in commemorating the Centennial anniversary of the Great War.

In January, President Obama signed the World War I Centennial Commission Act, introduced by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II, U.S. representative for Missouri’s Fifth District. The act establishes a World War I Centennial Commission to spearhead national programs and activities to commemorate the Great War’s Centennial from 2014 to 2018. The 12-member Centennial Commission will meet regularly at the National World War I Museum. "Soon the eyes of the nation, and indeed the world, will be on Kansas City as we prepare for the centennial commemoration of World War I," said Congressman Cleaver.

In March, the Museum hosted a three-day International Centennial Planning Conference to begin preliminary discussions on collaborative Centennial initiatives across the nation and around the globe. More than 130 scholars, curators, ambassadors and historians from around the world attended, including representatives from the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Canada.

Memorial Day Hours and Parking The National World War I Museum will be open on Monday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with discounted admission for active duty military and career retired military. In addition, on Memorial Day only, visitors will receive $2 off admission with a ticket stub from a Royals game played between May 23 to 26. To accommodate expected high Memorial Day attendance, free parking and a shuttle service will be available on May 27 from parking lots in Crown Center at Grand & 27th Streets from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

About the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial is the only American museum solely dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of a war whose impact still echoes in the world today. The Museum takes visitors on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and located in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, the National World War I Museum inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit www.theworldwar.org.

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