"In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace" Press Briefing
Video Press Conference held 3/21/17 in Kansas City
Request Press credentials
“In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I” is a commemorative ceremony hosted by the Congressionally-authorized U. S. World War One Centennial Commission. The commemoration, taking place on April 6, 2017 at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into the Great War.
To request media credentials to “In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I” please fill out the entire Media Credentialing Form. Because space is limited, the World War One Centennial Commission will review credentials applications and will notify you when your application is confirmed.
Commissioner, U.S. WWI Centennial Commission
Libby H. O’Connell was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, where she oversees the Education Committee. She also serves as Chairwoman of the World War One Centennial Committee for New York City.
O’Connell is currently the Chief Historian Emeritus at History Channel, where she worked for 23 years in education and corporate social responsibility. She has appeared as a commentator on History and A&E Network, as well as on CNN, the Today Show, and other news channels. Libby O’Connell’s work in television and education has received four national “Emmy” awards, White House recognition, and numerous other honors.
Dr. O’Connell’s recent book, The American Plate: A History in 100 Bites, uses food and drink as a lens for exploring the past. She lectures around the country on World War I and on the interplay of food, drink, and society. She received her Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia.
To request and interview with Commissioner O'Connell, please contact Paulo Sibaja at firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. World War I Centennial Commission Announces Centennial Commemoration of U.S. Entry into World War l
Washington, D.C. — The United States World War I Centennial Commission today officially announced the national ceremony commemorating the centennial of the United States entry into World War I, a war that changed the nation and the world forever.
The national ceremony, “In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry in World War I,” will be held on April 6, 2017 at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo. Invited attendees include the President of the United States; Congressional leadership; Cabinet members; State governors; U.S. military leaders; veteran organizations; representatives from U.S. military legacy units that trace their history back to World War I; descendants of significant American WWI figures; and other organizations, dignitaries, and VIPs. International invitees include the Heads of State of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the United Kingdom, and all other nations whose people were involved in the Great War.
On April 6, 1917, after much debate, the United States entered World War I. The ceremony in Kansas City, and complementary events around the nation, will encourage every American to reflect on what that moment meant, how it continues to influence the nation, and how every American family, then and now, is linked to that perilous time.
“The April 6 ceremony in Kansas City is an important element of the national conversation about World War I,” said Dan Dayton, executive director of the World War I Centennial Commission. “Why should we care? Because we are all products of World War I. The entire country was involved— everyone has a story. The Commission’s goal is to inspire you to find your personal story and connection.”
“In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry in World War I” will consist principally of the reading of passages from significant and representative American writings of a century ago about the U.S. decision to enter the war, including selections from speeches, journalism, literature, poetry, and performance of important music of the time. Invited American readers include the President of the United States, Congressional leadership, and descendants of U.S. World War I veterans. Certain Heads of State from other nations are invited to read passages reflecting the reaction of their respective nations to the U.S. entry into the war in 1917.
The ceremony will also include flyovers by U.S. aircraft and Patrouille de France, as well as a military band, color guard, ceremonial units, and video productions. Students across the nation will participate in this historic event, learning how WWI changed the United States and the world.
America’s entry into the Great War created profound change throughout the country. WWI military Historian and archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration Mitchell Yockelson explains that “although the union was again whole after the end of the American Civil War, the United States remained fractured. Recovery was slow until the turning point of reconciliation occurred 52 years later. On April 6, 1917, Americans cast aside past sectional and political differences, donned the same uniform and fought as one under a singular president and field commander in the Great War.”
World War I Centennial Commissioner Dr. Monique Seefried said it is critical that the nation remember the momentous events of World War I.
“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.”
Designated by the U.S. Congress in 2004 as the official museum dedicated to WWI, and in 2014 as America's National World War I Museum and Memorial, the Museum is uniquely positioned to host the official Commission event. “It’s a fitting tribute to those who served in the Great War that we commemorate the entry of the United States into World War I in the very same place where millions of visitors from across the world have paid tribute for nearly a century,” said National World War I Museum and Memorial President and CEO and World War l Commissioner Dr. Matthew Naylor. “The National World War I Museum and Memorial is committed to remembering, understanding and interpreting the Great War and its enduring impact and this event underscores how this calamitous conflict continues to significantly affect everyone to this day.”
The ceremony launches an 18-month long commemoration period of the United States’ involvement in WWI, marked by anniversaries of specific events of the war, including major engagements of U.S. forces, key local dates, and more. More information on key events can be found at ww1cc.org/events.
For additional information or to request an interview with the Commission or its spokespeople, please contact Paulo Sibaja, email@example.com or 202-414-0798.
About the World War I Centennial Commission
The Commission was established by the World War I Centennial Commission Act, passed by the 112th Congress and signed by President Barack Obama on January 16, 2013, and is responsible for planning, developing, and executing programs, projects, and activities to commemorate the centennial of World War I. The mission is to educate the country’s citizens about the causes, courses and consequences of the war; honor the heroism and sacrifice of those Americans who served, and commemorate the Great War through public programs and initiatives. To learn more about the Commission activities, visit ww1cc.org/tools.
To further the mission, the Commission is leading the effort to build the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C. to honor the 4.7 million American veterans who served. To learn more about the Memorial, visit ww1cc.org/memorial.
The Commission’s founding sponsor is the Pritzker Military Museum and Library (PMML) in Chicago, Ill. PMML is a nonpartisan research institution dedicated to enhancing public understanding of military history and the sacrifices made by America's veterans and service members. To learn more about PMML, visit www.pritzkermilitary.org.
About the National World War I Museum and Memorial
The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war. The Museum takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s National World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National World War I Museum and Memorial inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit theworldwar.org.
Members of the media are invited to participate in an official press briefing for the April 6 commemorative ceremony on Tuesday, March 21 at 1:00 p.m. CDT. To receive a link to the briefing live stream and call-in information, please contact Paulo Sibaja at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I” Press Briefing
Tuesday March 21, 2017
1 p.m. CDT
National World War I Museum and Memorial
Dr. Matthew Naylor
President & CEO, National WWI Museum and Memorial
Commissioner, U.S. World War I Centennial Commission
Col. Robert Dalessandro
Executive Director, American Battle Monuments Commission
Chairman, U.S. World War I Centennial Commission
Hon. Emanuel Cleaver, II
United States House of Representatives, Missouri’s Fifth District
Impact of World War I
Dr. Monique Seefried
Commissioner, U.S. World War I Centennial Commission
Quartermaster General, Veterans of Foreign Wars
Commissioner, U.S. World War I Centennial Commissioner
Keli O’Neill Wenzel
President & CEO, O’Neill Events/Susan Davis International
Q & A
Director of Marketing, Communications & Guest Services, National WWI Museum and Memorial
VFW Check Presentation
In the afternoon of April 6, a distinguished colloquium will feature notable scholars and former high-ranking diplomats discussing what brought the United States into World War I, and what lessons on ending large conflicts can be learned from the war’s results. Attendance at the colloquium is by invitation only. The colloquium will be streamed on the Internet.
WWI B-Roll Video
This B-Roll video is for story backgrounds. All content is from the National Archives and in the public domain.
Click here and download from Vimeo at the resolution you want.
- President Wilson
- General Pershing
- Event headlines (We declare war, etc.)
- Troops training
- Troops boarding trains/ships
- Troops in trenches
- War scenes
- Camp life
- Armistice parade
They Deserve Their Own Memorial - Educational and PSA Videos
They Deserve Their Own Memorial - 30 Second Public Service Announcement
National World War One Memorial Project
The World War One Centennial Commission proudly presents this 30 second video about the National WWI Memorial program in Washington DC. It is narrated by actor and veteran affairs activist Gary Sinise.
The video is suitable for veterans organization web sites, broadcast public service announcements, WWI Commemoration activities and promotion, kiosks, social media sharing and using the audio track, as radio public service announcements.
We invite you to download this for sharing with your community, local media stations and organizations.
NOTE: There are also 3 minute and 7 minute videos similarly themed videos available for education and other extended purposes. All videos can be downloaded in web site or broadcast resolutions. Access the entire collection HERE.
Still Image Resources