Nationwide Events Commemorating U.S. Entry into World War I
By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission
Washington, D.C. — The United States World War I Centennial Commission has released a list of nationwide events being hosted coast to coast by state-affiliated commissions and partner organizations to commemorate the centennial of the United States entry into World War I.
The state-affiliated commissions and partner organizations are hosting 60 events in 30 states, in conjunction with the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission's national commemoration ceremony, "In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I," in Kansas City, Mo. on April 6.
Ceremonies and events are taking place from April 1 to 15, with a number taking place on the actual anniversary date of April 6, the date on which the U.S. officially entered the war.Commemoration events at the Delaware Public Archives in Dover and the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines are among those marking the historic day and creating opportunities for public education and a national conversation about the impact of World War I on America then and now.
World War I Centennial Commissioner Dr. Monique Seefried noted the importance of national remembrance of the circumstances and events of World War I because it affects contemporary U.S. society.
“It is so important to understand the debate that was going on within the United States about entering World War l. In reaching that decision, the nation became united for the first time in decades. Our goal was to bring peace to a world that had become inflamed. The subsequent decisions and actions taken 100 years ago helped shape and define the world we live in today.”
The ceremonies and events include panel discussions with leading historians, World War I exhibition openings in Maryland, Missouri, Ohio and Wyoming, musical performances in Virginia, North Carolina and Texas, film screenings in Washington D.C. and Massachusetts and more. Many of the events will feature keynote speakers such as Jesse Williams at the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville,Tennessee and PBS CEO Paula Kerger at the Newseum in Washington D.C.
These events headline an 18-month commemoration period of the United States’ involvement in the Great War, marked by anniversaries of U.S. engagement and significant dates. These events are designed to honor the sacrifice of those who served in WWI by focusing on the shared history and collective perseverance it took to prevail over the horrors of war that unfolded on the battlefields of Europe.
In addition to announcing the list of state events, the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library jointly launched the 100 Cities, 100 Memorials. In observance of the upcoming centennial of World War I, 100 matching grants of up to $2,000 each will be awarded for the restoration of 100 World War I Memorials across the United States. Any municipal government, individual, or organization may apply.
To learn more about 100 Cities, 100 Memorials go to ww1cc.org/100memorials
For additional information on “In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I” on April 6 please visit www.ww1cc.org/april6.