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Veteran volunteers offer knowledge, perspective at National World War I Museum and Memorial

World War I Museum and Memorial
Posted at 9:49 AM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 10:50:46-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — At the National World War I Museum and Memorial, a place of remembrance and learning, hundreds of volunteers help guide the way.

Of their more than 500 volunteers, the museum estimates almost half have served in the military, including Mike Burke and Dennis Cross.

Burke, who served 23 years in the Army, has been volunteering at the museum for 13 years. Cross, a Navy veteran, has volunteered there for 15 years.

Cross agreed that his Military service impacts how he sees the museum and how he helps others see it. He showed KSHB 41 News Anchor Lindsay Shively a part of the museum that he tries to make sure people don’t miss.

In a corner that could be easy to walk by, the Navy veteran stopped at a map and gave an explanation of war at sea.

“That many ships on their way to Great Britain were sunk by German submarines and this is what brought America into the war,” he said.

Through sharing his knowledge and experience, Burke says he also hopes to change perspectives.

“Any war is brutal. Every war is terrible. Every war is something that should be avoided, but this war is the first war of the modern era,” Burke said. “I just think it’s important for them to understand service members are just people too.”

Lessons of the past that Burke says he hopes will add context to the world around us today.

“If they can understand what happened here, maybe it could help them understand what’s going on in the world today,” Burke said.