Archive for Wednesday, May 18, 2011

National WWI Museum plans Memorial Day weekend events

May 18, 2011

The National World War I Museum has planned a number of Memorial Day weekend activities, including a preview of the landmark’s new traveling museum.

The museum is located in Penn Valley Park in Kansas City, Mo.

Saturday, May 28

Special exhibition: “Following My Grandfather’s World War I Diary, A Photographic Journey”

This photography exhibit in Memory Hall is drawn from the numerous trips to Europe made by photographer and writer Jeff Lowdermilk. Twenty-four vibrant color photographs follow the wartime journey of his grandfather through France and into Germany during the Allied Occupation. The exhibition highlights America’s cemeteries and monuments in France and illustrates the legacy of sacrifice of America’s servicemen and women in World War I. A companion book, “Following My Grandfather’s World War I Diary, A Photographic Journey,” will be available in the Museum Store. Admission to the exhibit, which will remain open until Sept. 5, is included with regular admission to the National World War I Museum.

Free lecture: “Following My Grandfather’s World War I Diary, A Photographic Journey”

11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Photographer and writer Jeff Lowdermilk will give an illustrated talk to accompany his exhibition in Memory Hall. The theme chronicles America’s involvement in the Great War and the U.S. Army’s Saint-Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives in the fall of 1918. The story focuses on the 353rd Infantry Regiment, 89th Division in which Lowdermilk’s grandfather served. Each program will last approximately 45 minutes followed by a question and answer session. This free event will take place in the museum’s J.C. Nichols Auditorium.

Free lecture: “History of the Medal of Honor”

1 p.m.

The museum has planned a special program on the history of the Medal of Honor, presented by James H. Willbanks, General of the Army, George C. Marshall Chair of Military History and Director of the Department of Military History for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. This free event will take place in the Museum’s J.C. Nichols Auditorium and is co-sponsored by the Kansas City Public Library and the Command and General Staff College Foundation.

Sunday, May 29

Vintage Military Vehicle Display

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Military Vehicle Preservation Association “Hell on Wheels” Chapter will display vintage military vehicles on the Museum’s southeast lawn. Chapter members will be available to answer questions about their collection. Displays will include vehicles from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Bank of America Celebration at the Station

7:30 p.m.

Presented by Bank of America, the Kansas City Symphony will perform patriotic favorites against the backdrop of Kansas City’s historic Union Station. The event will conclude with blazing fireworks above the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial — Kansas City’s largest fireworks display of the year. Additionally, the Honoring Our History traveling museum will be on display for the public to view (see below). This free event will take place on the north lawn of the Museum.

“Honoring Our History” Traveling Museum Unveiled

The Museum and Waddell & Reed will preview their traveling World War I gallery for the “Honoring Our History” tour. A custom 18-wheel “big rig” truck has been transformed into a traveling gallery, complete with artifacts, videos and an authentic walk-through trench. This free, interactive and educational experience will visit 75 U. S. cities over the next year. The truck will be parked in front of Union Station and open to the public during the first half of Celebration at the Station.

Monday, May 30

Memorial Day Ceremony

9:30 a.m.

The Memorial Day ceremony takes place on the south side of the Museum. The ceremony begins with a color guard parade and includes performances by the American Legion Band, dedication of the newly-installed Walk of Honor bricks by Missouri’s Poet Laureate David Clewell, and speeches paying tribute to the day’s significance. Former Congressman Ike Skelton will give the keynote address. The Museum will open immediately following the ceremony (approximately 11 a.m.). Regular Museum admission fees apply. The Honoring Our History traveling museum will also be available to view after the ceremony.

Free parking and shuttle service will be available on Monday, May 30, from parking lots at Grand and 27th streets from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Vintage Military Vehicle Display

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Military Vehicle Preservation Association “Hell on Wheels” Chapter will display vintage military vehicles on the Museum’s southeast lawn. Chapter members will be available to answer questions about their collection. Displays will include vehicles from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

For more information about the Museum and its events, visit libertymemorialmuseum.org.

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