KANSAS CITY, Mo — The National World War I Museum and Memorial celebrated Memorial Day with a full slate of events on Monday.
Hundreds of veterans and families came out to pay their respects to fallen soldiers through various ceremonies and displays on the grounds.
In an address to those in attendance for the opening ceremony, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. l JT Thomson referenced the ultimate sacrifice many have made.
“Today as solemn observants, at this hallowed place, we honor and mourn the men and women who gave their last full measure of devotion while serving in our armed forces,” he said. “We have the gifts of freedom, liberty and relative comfort. Gifts that many in this world do not have. Let us always remember the men and women who gave their all so we could have these treasures.”
Also in attendance was VFW Quartermaster General Marc Garduno, who said the showing of support this year cements the holiday’s future.
“I am so happy to know and understand that the tradition of Memorial Day continues to perpetuate, moving forward to the next generation of Americans,” Gorduno said. “They will never forget the sacrifices of our military across the world.”
Navy veteran Iain Thomson said the recognition is appreciated by all service members.
“Various people thank you and so on and so forth. It’s embarrassing almost because it’s not one person,” Thomson said. “It’s hundreds of thousands of people all making a contribution and each bit fits into the whole and makes the various services work together.”
The National WWI Museum and Memorial offered free entry into the museum for veterans and active military members this Memorial Day weekend.