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Media Resources

 

"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.

Press & Media Tool Kit

The Press & Media Tool Kit is a core resource for covering the event.

The content includes:

  • About In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I
  • About the World War I Centennial Commission
  • About the National World War I Museum and Memorial
  • World War I Centennial Commission Social Media
  • Logos
  • Ceremony Participants
  • Media Credentialing
  • Interview Requests
  • General Media Inquiries
  • FAQs

 

Expert Bios

Libby O'Connell, Ph.D.

Commissioner, U.S. WWI Centennial Commission

libby oconnell

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 psibaja@susandavis.com.


Press Releases

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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, psibaja@susandavis.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.


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World War I Centennial Commission Announces Key Participation in Advance of April 6 Commemoration

Actor Kevin Costner to Lend Voice to WWI Centennial Commission Commemoration

Washington, D.C. — The United States World War I Centennial Commission announced the participation of Kevin Costner as well as international, national, and local dignitaries in anticipation of the national ceremony, “In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I,” at the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo. on April 6.

At a press briefing, WWI Centennial Commissioner and President and CEO of the National WWI Museum and Memorial Dr. Matthew Naylor announced that actor, producer, and director Kevin Costner will narrate part of the ceremony’s text. The actor’s participation comes on the heels of confirmed participation of Gen. Paul J. Selva, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the French delegation headed by Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian, and the Belgian delegation headed by Minister of Defense, Steven Vandeput.

The Commission confirmed the attendance of ambassadors from Belgium, Guatemala, Italy, Latvia, Malawi, Slovenia and the Ukraine and announced the honorary host committee comprised of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II, and Kansas City Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James. Debra Anderson, quartermaster general of the Veterans of Foreign War and WWI Centennial commissioner, also noted the attendance of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer, and relatives of WWI heroes Gen. George S. Patton and Gen. John J. Pershing, Helen Patton and Sandra Pershing.

French-born, American citizen and WWI Centennial Commissioner Dr. Monique Seefried noted the importance of American involvement in WWI, “My reason for being with you today is to tell you how grateful I am as a French-born woman for what Americans did twice in a century to save France... at the time of WWI the United States entered the war for purely unselfish and idealistic reasons: for peace and democracy. These were noble reasons, and even if the peace was short, and democracy failed in most of Europe, American soldiers gave their lives fighting for values we highly respect still today. We should never forget them, nor forget the nearly 20% of foreign-born Americans who served in WWI.”


“In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I” will begin at 9 a.m. CDT with a stunning prelude and pre-ceremony multi-media production that illustrates American life in 1917 as the horror of war unfolded on the battlefields of Europe. It will recall the impassioned arguments from our countrymen and women both for and against involvement in the Great War.

A limited number of ceremony tickets will be available to the general public Thursday March 23 at www.ww1cc.org/april6. Guests may reserve up to four tickets through an online ticketing system on a first-come, first-serve basis. For schools and group reservations, a limited number of group tickets will also be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Media credentialing is also available at www.ww1cc.org/april6.

Capture

To watch the “In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace” Press Briefing click on the image above.

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 www.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 www.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.

The presenting sponsor for “In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I” is the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) in Kansas City, Mo. The VFW is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces. To learn more about the VFW, visit www.vfw.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 www.theworldwar.org


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World War I Centennial Commission Announces April 6 Commemorative Ceremony Public Tickets

Washington, D.C. — The United States World War I Centennial Commission announced today public tickets are now available for “In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I,” at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo. on April 6.

Up to four tickets for the ceremony can be requested through online ticketing on a first-come, first-serve basis. For schools and group reservations, a limited number of group tickets will also be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The ticket link can be found on the “In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I” website at www.ww1cc.org/april6.

All guests, including children, must have a ticket to gain entry into the event. Ticket holders will be required to enter the National World War I Museum and Memorial grounds between the hours of 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., on Thursday, April 6th and pass through security screening. Security screening gates will open at 6:00 a.m. and attendees are encouraged to come early. The public seating area will not have chairs, but guests will be allowed to bring blankets or cushions. No entry will be allowed after 9:00 a.m.

Additional security and entry information can be found on the ceremony website, www.ww1cc.org/april6 , as information is finalized. In addition to the general public ticket option, live video of the cremony will also be streamed on the internet for schools, individuals and organizations to view.

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 www.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 www.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.

The presenting sponsor for “In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I” is the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) in Kansas City, Mo. The VFW is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces. To learn more about the VFW, visit www.vfw.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 www.theworldwar.org.

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Coverage

Press Briefing

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 psibaja@susandavis.com

 

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“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

Introductions
Dr. Matthew Naylor
President & CEO, National WWI Museum and Memorial
Commissioner, U.S. World War I Centennial Commission

Opening Remarks
Col. Robert Dalessandro
Executive Director, American Battle Monuments Commission
Chairman, U.S. World War I Centennial Commission

Kansas City
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

Special Announcements
Debra Anderson
Quartermaster General, Veterans of Foreign Wars
Commissioner, U.S. World War I Centennial Commissioner

Ceremony Logistics
Keli O’Neill Wenzel
President & CEO, O’Neill Events/Susan Davis International

Q & A
Mike Vietti
Director of Marketing, Communications & Guest Services, National WWI Museum and Memorial

VFW Check Presentation

Closing Remarks
Mike Vietti

Interviews

Museum Tours

Colloquium



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.
Scenes include:

  • President Wilson
  • General Pershing
  • Event headlines (We declare war, etc.)
  • Troops training
  • Troops boarding trains/ships
  • Troops in trenches
  • War scenes
  • Camp life
  • Airplanes
  • Warships/submarines
  • Armistice parade

They Deserve Their Own Memorial - Educational and PSA Videos

 

PSA - 30 second

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.



 

 


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