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Between November 8 and 12, the World War One Centennial Commission invited the public to visit the site of the National World War Memorial, Washington, DC  for a “First Look at the National World War l Memorial.” 

The Memorial site was open to the public daily beginning with a presentation of colors at 8 a.m. and concluding with “Taps” at sunset daily, November 8-12. a series of special events were held in the park, and visitors had an opportunity to visit the "First Look Pavilion" for an introduction to the memorial and a vision of what the park is going to become as the National World War I Memorial. 

Following on this page are a number of videos of special events produced throughout the week - each honoring and focusing on different aspects of those who served and changed our nation 100 years ago.


Videos From The 2018 Armistice Centennial Events

November 8, 11:00 a.m.
The Nation Served: Wreath Laying Tribute to the States and Territories
This ceremony launches a series of commemorative events giving a first look at the National World War l Memorial, Washington, DC and marking the Centennial of the Armistice that ended World War I. Representatives from each state and territory will place a wreath in the park to honor and remember all who served. The event includes a tribute to the program and accomplishments of the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials initiative. This is one of the Commission's great successes done in partnership with the Pritzker Military Museum and Library and with the support of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

Program highlights:

  • Wreaths placed by representatives of all States and Territories 
  • Concert by Pershing’s Own Brass Quintet
  • 100 Cities / 100 Memorials reception


November 8, 2:00 p.m.
Women in Wartime: Tribute to the Women of WWI
This event honors the women who supported the war efforts. The women of World War I demonstrated their ability to take on traditionally male roles and paved the way for future service of women in the U.S. military. Come meet and listen to some of America's most accomplished women military leaders as they pay tribute to the women who paved the path for all women, 100 years ago. 

Program highlights:

  • Screening of “The Soldier’s Journey” film about WWI National Memorial
  • Wreath laying ceremony at the General Pershing Statue by noted veteran and active duty women of various services.
  • Speakers and dignitary attendees include: Commissioner Debra Anderson, WWI Centennial Commissioner and Quartermaster, VFW, Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben, USN (Ret.), former National Commander of the American Legion, Denise Rohan, Admiral Michelle Howard, USN (Ret.), U.S. Navy: Lieutenant Commander Alexa Jenkins, President, Sea Service Leadership Association, U.S. Air Force: Brigadier General Wilma Vaught (Ret.), U.S. Marines: Rhonda Amtower, President, Women Marines Association, U.S. Coast Guard: Captain Lucinda Cunningham among others.


November 8, 4:00 p.m. 
The Heroic Legacy: African Americans and Latinos of WWI
The war directly impacted all minorities, male and female, soldier and civilian. This event honors the sacrifice and service of minorities during WWI.

Program highlights:

  • Presentation by Medal of Valor Program
  • Reenactment and theatrical performance by The Ebony Doughboys
  • Screening of “The Soldier’s Journey”
  • Speakers and dignitary attendees include: Commissioner Terry Hamby, Chairman,WW1 Centennial Commissioner, Reverend Dr. Calvin Cage, former USA Captain, Gerald York, grandson of Medal of Honor recipient, Sergeant Alvin York, USA, Lawrence Romo, American GI Forum National Commander, Valor Medals Review Task Force Presentation by Major General Christopher Leins, USA (Ret.), Mercedes Ellington, granddaughter of Duke Ellington, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S Representative for the District of Columbia, Bobby Sanabria and Elena Martinez, to talk about Puerto Rican influence in the 369th band, descendant, Noble Sissle, Jr. & James Reese Europe III, of Dr. Nevalon Mitchell, Jr. former USA Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.)
  • Performance by the 369th Experience Band, a recreation of the 369th Regimental band, 65 African American and Puerto Rican men who brought jazz to Europe


November 9, 2018 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m
Tribute to the Homefront
This event exploring the not only how the war affected those at home, but we will also present the non-military contributors to the war including the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, DONUTS, and more.... Special events and guests include:

  • Commissioner Libby O'Connell
  • American Red Cross
  • Joe Weishaar - the lead designer for the National World War I Memorial
  • Sabin Howard - The Sculptor for the National World War I Memorial
  • Major James Shield US Army (ret.) - Salvation Army
  • Donut Lassies!

  • Purple Hearts Reunited presentation to WWI Veteran Families 


November 10, 2018 11:00 a.m
Bravest of the Brave: The Native Americans of WWI
When the United States entered World War I, Native Americans were not yet citizens. Though they could not be drafted, Native American men volunteered to serve. This event recognizes the courageous contributions Native Americans made on behalf of our nation throughout World War I.

Program highlight:

  •  Speakers and dignitary attendees include: Commissioner Edwin Fountain, US World War One Centennial Commission, President Jefferson Keel, National Congress of American Indians, Ralph Zotigh, Kiowa tribal elder and descendant of a WW1 veteran, Commissioner Jack Monahan, US World War One Centennial Commission
  • Screening of “The Soldier’s Journey”


November 10, 2018 6:00 p.m.
"Living Memorial": A special introduction
This is a unique FIRST LOOK at the sculpture design for the National WWI Memorial in Washington DC. A soldier's story is brought to life as the sculpture is revealed in a unique and special way using live actors.



November 11, 2018 10:00 a.m - 11:30 a.m
WWI Armistice Centennial Sacred Service
This multi-denominational service honors the Centennial of the WWI Armistice in some very special moments from the WWI Centennial Commission in partnership with Washington National Cathedral.



November 11, 2018 2:00 p.m
Veterans Day: Salute to Military and Veterans
he World War One Commission provides the opportunity to give long overdue recognition to America’s sons and daughters who served in the Great War, including the more than 204,000 Americans who returned home wounded and the 116,516 who never returned.

This day honors the veterans of World War I and all the conflicts that followed. This event reminds us of the service and sacrifice of military members and veterans will never be forgotten.

Program highlights:

  •  Screening of “The Soldier’s Journey”
  • Speakers and dignitary attendees include: Commissioner Colonel Thomas Moe, USAF (Ret.), WWI Memorial architect Joe Weishaar, Katharina Hass, winner of National History Day San Diego, Outstanding Historical Performance, Daniel Wright (to join Katharina), “Who They Were” Program Presentation, British Bagpiper, Warrant Officer Class 2 Pipe Major Peter Macgregor, British Army, 
  • Theatrical performance by the Ebony Doughboys


November 11, 2018 4:00 p.m
369th Experience Sunset Tattoo 
A special performance by the 369th Experience Band, a recreation of the 369th Regimental band, 65 African American and Puerto Rican men who brought jazz to Europe.




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