November 11th is Veterans Day. The holiday traces its origin to World War I when on Nov. 11, 1918 fighting on the Western Front ceased for the first time in more than four years and across the battlefields of Europe peace was declared.
Armistice Day was officially recognized by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 on the one-year anniversary of the end of the Great War. In 1954 after the return of veterans from the Korean War, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill rededicating Nov. 11 as Veterans Day and encouraged Americans to commit themselves to the cause of peace and to honor America’s veterans for their courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice.
The National World War I Museum and Memorial honors veterans with an entire weekend (Nov. 11-13) dedicated to the remembrance of the brave men and women who served in the different branches of the military by offering free admission to veterans and active military as well as half price admission to the public.
On Nov. 11, the Veterans Day ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and features a keynote address from Assistant Chief of Staff at the Army Reserve Affairs Combined Arms Center at Ft. Leavenworth Col. Norma J. Bradford. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II, Mayor Sly James (a Marine veteran), Missouri State Senator Ryan Silvey are expected to attend and the ceremony also includes performances from the Kansas City Symphony Chorus and The American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City Wind Ensemble. Additionally, the Museum offers a concert with legendary folk musician John McCutcheon at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 as he performs songs from his expansive catalog in this not-to-be-missed event. View the complete list of activities.
As the world continues the commemoration of the Great War, the National World War I Museum and Memorial serves as a fitting place to honor those who served.
“You have won the greatest battle in history and served the most sacred cause – the Liberty of the World.” – Allied commander Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch in a message sent to the Allied Armies on Nov. 12, 1918, one day after fighting in Europe ended.