Free Memorial Day Weekend Activities at the National WWI Museum and Memorial

The National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City is hosting a variety of FREE events over Memorial Day Weekend to honor and recognize the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country.

National WWI Museum 2020 Memorial Day Events - image of hands in the shape of a heart

Museum Admission

All weekend (May 26-29, admission to the museum and memorial is FREE for veterans and active duty military members. General admission for the public is half price. 

See here for operating hours, admission prices and other visiting guidelines. 

Don’t miss our post Kansas City Memorial Day Weekend Fun, Discounts & Freebies.

 

Memorial Day Weekend Events and Displays

The Museum and Memorial offers a wide variety of events during the weekend for people of all ages, including a free public ceremony at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day with local dignitaries and a keynote address from Lieutenant General Larry Jordan. Support for Memorial Day is provided by the Veterans United Home Loans, Jackson County of Missouri, Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund (NTDF) and Weather or Not.

“Remembering Our Fallen” Traveling Memorial

When: Thursday, May 25 – Monday, May 29
Where: Memorial Courtyard

 Remembering Our Fallen is a photographic war memorial that honors U.S. military fallen from the Global War on Terrorism (2001-2021). Created by Nebraska-based Patriotic Productions, the memorial includes both military and personal photos. FREE to the public.

Flags of Forgotten Soldiers Display
When: Monday, May 15 – Monday, May 29
Where: Walkway Terrace near Main Entrance at the National WWI Museum and Memorial

The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that every 72 minutes, a service member takes their own life. This moving display of 140 U.S. flags calls attention to the fact that 140 veterans are lost to suicide every week. FREE to the public.

World War I Research Stations
When: During Museum hours, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Outside Auditorium Lobby inside the National WWI Museum and Memorial

Find your connection to WWI during Memorial Day weekend through research stations at the Museum. With access to multiple databases including Fold3.com, Ancestry.com, the Museum and Memorial’s online collections database, the American Battlefield Monuments Commission and the National Archives, discover how the Great War affected your family through records, photographs and much more. FREE to the public.

Vintage Military Vehicle Display
When: Saturday, May 27 – Sunday, May 28
Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, Southeast Lawn

The Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) will display vintage military vehicles from World War I, World War II, Korean War and Operation Desert Storm. MVPA members will be available to answer questions about their collection. Availability subject to weather. FREE to the public.

Vietnam Era Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” Helicopter Display
When: Friday, May 26 – Monday, May 29
Where: Rectangular Drive outside the National WWI Museum and Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #243 will provide an iconic Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” helicopter for people to climb aboard and inspect. FREE to the public.

Memorial Day Ceremony
When: Monday, May 29, 10 a.m.
Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, Memorial Courtyard

A formal public program to include remarks from dignitaries and a keynote address from Lieutenant General Larry Jordan. 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

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 and AVTT Vietnam Wall Closing Ceremony
When: Monday, May 29, 2 p.m.
Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, Memorial Courtyard

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. This year’s ceremony will also serve as the closing ceremony for the AVTT Vietnam Traveling Wall. FREE to the public.

Documentary: “Absent from Anzac: The Story of an Australian Nurse at War”

When: Monday, May 29, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Auditorium
What: In commemorating the millions of soldiers who fought in WWI on Memorial Day, we also honor the service of the volunteers and nurses who assisted them on the front lines and in the hospitals. In this documentary, Drs. Bruce Scates and Melanie Oppenheimer from Australian National University discuss the compelling and almost-forgotten legacy of Australian nurse Sister Narrelle Hobbes, who served Allied soldiers in the Mediterranean and Asia during the Great War.

National World War I Museum Memorial Location & Parking

The National World War I Museum Memorial is located in downtown Kansas City, Missouri at 2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO 64108.

FREE parking is located on the south side of the museum in the u-shaped drive and in the West visitors lot. 

RideKC (a.k.a, Kansas City Streetcar) has a stop across the street at Union Station (Main Street/27th Street). Just know that it’s about a quarter mile hike across the street and up a big hill to the museum entrance. 

 

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