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Kansas City-metro families honor meaning behind Memorial Day with visits to WWI Museum and Memorial

WWI museum display
Posted at 1:53 PM, May 28, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Families gathered Sunday around machinery and war displays on the south lawn of the National WWI Museum and Memorial.

The living history event gave children a sense of wonder while exploring artifacts of America’s past.

“Feels cool just to see it in person. To see all the stuff they used during WWI,” said sixth-grader Carter Baird. “I think the trenches was a very big part and a very interesting part of it.”

Sisters Lilla and Josie Bobe traveled to the museum Sunday afternoon with their veteran grandfather.

“I just like seeing the way that people kind of worked as a team in the military,” Josie Bobe said. “They have all of these cool devices that they can use to communicate and work as a team. It just seems cool.”

While their grandfather Paul Fahey didn’t step foot in Korea, he served during that time while stationed in Florida.

“Having this little trip today was really something that brings the past and the present together,” Fahey said. “It’s funny. You may not enjoy your years in, but when you leave, you miss them terribly. Some do, anyway.”

The museum is hosting a series of events on Memorial Day:

Memorial Day Ceremony

  • When: Monday, May 29, 10 a.m.
  • Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, Memorial Courtyard
  • What: A formal public program to include remarks from dignitaries and a keynote address from Lt. General (Ret.) John "J.T." Thomson. Thomson served more than 34 years across the globe in the U.S. Army, including six combat deployments. ASL interpretation will be provided for the ceremony. FREE to the public.

Complimentary Concert: Frederick Hodges

  • When: Monday, May 29, 11:30 a.m.
  • Where: Paul Sunderland Glass Bridge
  • What: Frederick Hodges will play a 30-minute piano performance for those passing through the Museum. His artistry, virtuosity and charisma have captivated audiences worldwide for decades.

Memorial Day Bell Tolling Ceremony

  • When: Monday, May 29, Noon
  • Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, Memorial Courtyard
  • What: We commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice with a bell-tolling ceremony featuring a presentation of colors, a wreath laying and a moving reading. It was also tolled 11 times at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1926, during the dedication ceremony of the Liberty Memorial and again on Nov. 11, 2018, to commemorate the centennial of the WWI armistice. FREE to the public.

Walk of Honor Dedication

  • When: Monday, May 29, 2 p.m.
  • Where: Walk of Honor
  • What: New Walk of Honor granite bricks will be dedicated during a special ceremony. The Walk of Honor 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 each year during a Memorial Day ceremony. FREE to the public.