The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission was created by an Act of Congress in 2013. Members of the 12-member Commission were appointed by the President and the leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the National World War I Museum. All five living former Presidents have agreed to serve the commission as honorary chairmen.
The Commission’s mission is to plan, develop, and execute programs, projects and activities to commemorate the Centennial of World War I (WWI).
Over the next five years the Commission intends to:
- Develop educational programs targeted at a variety of audiences and delivered through a variety of broadcast, print and digital media, with the goal of teaching Americans about the country’s most forgotten war.
- Organize activities, events, and symposia to commemorate American involvement in “the Great War.”
- Establish a National World War I Memorial in Washington DC, and bring attention to the thousands of World War I memorials in communities across the country that honor Americans who served in the war.
- Serve as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information about events and activities related to the Centennial Commemoration.
Over the next four years, the Commission will serve as the lead organizer for the nation’s commemorative events and will coordinate the activities of thousands individuals and institutions as they tell the story of the Great War. The Commission’s mission is to raise awareness of and give meaning to the events of a hundred years ago, using educational experiences and programming for all ages.
World War I remains America’s forgotten war, even though more Americans gave their lives during that war than during Korea and Vietnam combined, and even though it profoundly shaped the rest of “the American century.” The Commission will use the Centennial as a timely and essential opportunity to educate the country’s citizens about the causes, courses and consequences of the war; to honor the heroism and sacrifice of those Americans who served; and to commemorate through public programs and initiatives the centennial of this global event.