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Public WWI Centennial events in the Metro Washington, DC area Nov. 8-11

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission

Washington DC will be the site of a number of remarkable World War I-themed events, exhibits, and activities during the days leading up to, and beyond, the Armistice Centennial. 

short AFL header vert 300The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission is honoring the more than 4 million Americans who served in during WWI, and the 116,525 men and women who sacrificed their lives, with a “First Look at the National World War l Memorial” program between November 8 and 12, 2018. The Memorial site will be open to the public each day beginning with a presentation of colors at 9 a.m. and concluding with “Taps” at sunset daily.

The “First Look Pavilion” will be open 11 am to 5 pm each day for guests to see the memorial model, learn how it will be constructed, and understand how to be part of the project. The First Look Pavilion provides an all day immersive multimedia presentation of the coming National World War I Memorial, at the location of its future home. The First Look Pavilion will be using large graphics, video, and physical display to provide you with  "A First Look" at what the memorial will be, offer you some insight into how it has come about, and the Memorial's current status. You'll also learn how you can participate in its ultimate creation including video taping your reaction and thoughts after your "First Look". With your visit to the First Look Pavilion, you will leave with a clear concept and vision of this wonderful tribute to the men and women who, 100 years ago, helped shape the world we live in today.

First Look Pavilion program highlights include:

  • Giant graphics of the memorial design
  • 3D animated fly-through of the park as it will be
  • Maquette miniature (10 feet long) of the central memorial sculpture 
  • Hourly film presentation about how the project is being created
  • Videotape your reaction to your "First Look" at the memorial for public archival record

A First Look” includes the many Special Events in the park listed below which require free tickets to attend.

The following events, which include both Commission events and events presented by other organizations, are open to the public. Many of them are free.  

 

Thursday, November 8, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

A First Look: The National WWI Memorial in Washington, DC

The National WWI Memorial in Washington, DC

171003 view from kiosk 440Pershing Park -- Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets NW

This is a WWI Centennial Commission Signature Event

11:00 am to 5:00 pm - Visit the "First Look Pavilion" to to see the memorial model, talk to the designer and sculptor, learn how the memorial will be constructed, and understand how you can be part of the project. No ticket needed.

11:00 am (Special Event) - The Nation Served: Wreath Laying Tribute to the States and Territories Get free tickets to attend

12:15 pm  (Special Event) - 100 Cities 100 Memorials Tribute & Reception Get free tickets to attend

2:00 pm - (Special Event) Women in Wartime: Tribute to the Women of WWI Get free tickets to attend

4:00 pm - (Special Event) The Heroic Legacy: African Americans and Latinos of WWI Get free tickets to attend

5:00 pm (Special Event) Jazz Salute to the Harlem Hellfighters: The 369th Experience Band Get free tickets to attend

 

Friday, November 9, 2018 - 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

 

A First Look: The National WWI Memorial in Washington, DC

The National WWI Memorial in Washington, DC

Pershing Park -- Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets NW

WWI Centennial Commission Signature Event

11:00 am to 5:00 pm - Visit the "First Look Pavilion" to to see the memorial model, talk to the designer and sculptor, learn how the memorial will be constructed, and understand how you can be part of the project. No ticket needed.

12:00 am - 1:00 pm (Special Event) - Tribute to the Homefront Get free tickets to attend

 

Saturday, November 10, 11:00 am

 

A First Look: The National WWI Memorial in Washington, DC

The National WWI Memorial in Washington, DC

Pershing Park -- Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets NW

WWI Centennial Commission Signature Event

11:00 am to 5:00 pm - Visit the "First Look Pavilion" to to see the memorial model, talk to the designer and sculptor, learn how the memorial will be constructed, and understand how you can be part of the project. No ticket needed.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm (Special Event) - Bravest of the Brave: The Native Americans of WW1  Get free tickets to attend

 

Saturday, November 10, 5:00 pm

 

The New Orchestra of Washington: End of the War to End All Wars

Church of the Epiphany

1317 G Street Northwest

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I – the Great War – ended. The New Orchestra of Washington, Washington Master Chorale, and Music Viva NY commemorate this solemn occasion one hundred years later with a co-commission from acclaimed American composer Joseph Turrin, based on texts by war poets. The program also features works by Holst and and Ravel, both composers directly affected by World War I.

https://www.neworchestraofwashington.org/tickets/2018/11/10/end-of-the-war-to-end- all-wars

 

Saturday, November 10, 7:00 pm

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Washington National Opera: Silent Night

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Eisenhower Theater

2700 F Street NW

On Christmas Eve at the height of World War I, a spontaneous cease-fire arises between enemy soldiers. Based on the true story and 2005 film, Silent Night features Pulitzer Prize–winning music in multiple languages, capturing humanity and hope amidst a devastating war.

http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/event/OTOSB

 

Saturday, November 10, 7:00 pm

 

John Brancy and Peter Dugan: A WWI Memorial in Song

The National Museum of American History Hall of Music

1300 Constitution Avenue NW

Baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan

WWI musical performance inspired by the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, Armistice: The Journey Home explores timeless themes of loss, love, and longing for peace in the wake of catastrophe. Musical selections range from Schubert's Der Wanderer, to Vaughan Williams Songs of Travel, plus popular tunes of the WWI era and rarely-heard songs by German composer Rudi Stephan, who was killed in the war.

 

Sunday, November 11, 8:30 am

 

Walking Tour: World War One Centennial: The Imprint of World War I

Meet at the National WWI Memorial site by the statue of Gen. John J. Pershing

Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets NW

Although Washington, D.C. awaits a national memorial to World War I, sites associated with the “War to End All Wars” are hiding in plain sight, testimonies to the foot soldiers, generals, bureaucrats and U.S. presidents involved in the cataclysmic conflict.

Presented by Washington Walks, $20 per person. http://www.washingtonwalks.com/tours/imprint-world-war-i/

 

Sunday, November 11, 10:00 - 11:30 am

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Armistice Centennial Sacred Interfaith Worship Service

Washington National Cathedral 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW

 

This is a WWI Centennial Commission Signature Event.

The centennial service will center on the service of the 4.7 million Americans who served in the Great War and honor the sacrifice of the 116,516 who did not return home. It will also emphasize the role the U.S. military has played in preserving peace and liberty around the world for the last 100 years. Tickets are free. Call 202 537 2300 to reserve.

 

Sunday, November 11, 11:00 am


Bells of Peace: A World War I Remembrance

Washington National Cathedral and across the nation

This is a WWI Centennial Commission Signature Event.

At 11:00 a.m. local time across the United States, communities, houses of worship, cemeteries, military installations and ships at sea, will toll bells 21 times to honor those who served in the Great War. Tolling of bells is the traditional way to mark someone’s passing. On special national occasions, bells are tolled in honor of the fallen. November 11 is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended hostilities in World War I. In the war, 116,516 Americans died and over 200,000 were wounded. For more information on Bells of peace, and how you can participate, visit ww1cc.org/bells.

 

Sunday, November 11, 11:00 am - 8:00 pm

 

A First Look: The National WWI Memorial in Washington, DC

The National WWI Memorial in Washington, DC

Pershing Park -- Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets NW

 

This is a WWI Centennial Commission Signature Event

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11:00 am. - Bells of Peace: A WWI Remembrance -- Bring your phone with the Bells of Peace app to the Memorial site, and join others in tolling the bells 21 times.

11:00 am to 5:00 pm - Visit the "First Look Pavilion" to to see the memorial model, talk to the designer and sculptor, learn how the memorial will be constructed, and understand how you can be part of the project. No ticket needed.

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm (Special Event) - Military and Veterans Salute Get free tickets to attend

Activities include:

-- Screening of A Soldier’s Journey

-- Conversation with the Designer and Sculpture of the Memorial

-- National History Day presentation

-- Concert by the 369th Experience Band

 

Sunday, November 11, 10:30 am - 1:00 pm

 

D.C. War Memorial Commemoration

National Mall

The District of Columbia National Guard in partnership with the Association of the Oldest Inhabitants of D.C. will hold a World War I commemoration event at the D.C. War Memorial on the National Mall. Activities include an honor guard, band, tribute and wreath laying and reading of names. The names of 499 men and women from the District of Columbia who gave their lives in World War I are inscribed on the memorial as a perpetual record of their patriotic service to their country. Of the names inscribed on the memorial, 49 are District of Columbia National Guardsmen. The event is FREE and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.aoidc.org/.

Tomb 500

 

Sunday, November 11, 11:00 am

National Veterans Day Ceremony

Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, VA

The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans' organizations and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces.

 

Sunday, November 18, 11:00 am - 1:30 pm

 

WWI History Tour

Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, VA

Join Arlington National Cemetery historians for a free tour on World War I. For more information or to RSVP, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/history-tour-world-war-i-tickets-48412940408

 

Sunday, November 11, 1:00 pm

 

Walking Tour: The Great War in Arlington Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington, VA

Duration - Approximately 2 hours.

No reservations necessary. Simply show up!

Cost - $20 per person (kids 3 and younger free). $5 discount with U.S. military or federal government ID. Pay the walk fee in cash or with a credit card (using your smartphone) when you arrive.

http://www.washingtonwalks.com/tours/great-war-arlington-cemetery/

 

Sunday, November 11, 4:00 pm

 

100th Anniversary of Armistice Day - A Memorial Performance

Kenmore Middle School

200 S Carlin Springs Road Arlington, VA 22204

Bowen McCauley Dance Company joins the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day.

BMDC celebrates 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day with a performance of Eric Hampton’s “UnRavel” set for the first time to a live music accompaniment. The Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra will present the music of Maurice Ravel, Le Tombeau de Couperin as a memorial dedication to Ravel’s many friends who perished during WWI.

 

Sunday, November 11, 4:30 pm

 

A Farewell to Arms: A WWI Centennial Concert

National Presbyterian Church

4101 Nebraska Ave, NW Washington, DC 20016

Come mark the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI with music by composers who were deeply affected by the war. The performance includes Parry's "Jerusalem" and Finzi's "A Farewell to Arms" and "In terra pax," and Vaughan William's stirring cantata, "Dona nobis pacern." Featuring Katelyn Aungst, soprano; Robert Petillo, tenor; and James Shaffran, baritone.

Presented by The City Choir of Washington, $15-59, group and student discounts available For more information: c itychoir.org or (571) 206-8525

 

Sunday, November 11, 5:00 pm

 

National Veterans Day Concert

Washington National Cathedral

3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW

The National Veterans Day Concert honors the men, women and families who have served our country in the Armed Forces. Through words, music and images, join us as we celebrate the indomitable spirit of our veterans, their triumph over adversity, their resilience and their love of country.

The Washington National Cathedral Choir, together with “The President’s Own” United States Marine Chamber Orchestra, presents an evening of patriotic and contemplative music, with stories from our returning service members and their loved ones.

https://tix.cathedral.org/TheatreManager/1/online?performance=18183

 

Sunday, November 11, 7:00 pm

 

World Premiere: Pershing’s Path of Glory

American Film Institute

8603 Coleville Road, Silver Spring, Maryland

Pershing’s Path of Glory is a documentary film that follows a diverse group of young people who tell the life and legacy of General John “Black Jack” Pershing.

 

Monday, November 12, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

 

A First Look: The National WWI Memorial in Washington, DC

The National WWI Memorial in Washington, DC

Pershing Park -- Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets NW

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This is a WWI Centennial Commission Signature Event

11:00 am to 5:00 pm - Visit the "First Look Pavilion" to to see the memorial model, talk to the designer and sculptor, learn how the memorial will be constructed, and understand how you can be part of the project. No ticket needed.

10:00 am - 6:00 pm (Special Event) -- WWI Film Festival

The WWI Film Festival will include screenings of the following feature films:

  • Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
  • A Soldier’s Journey: The Experience
  • Hello Girls
  • The Lafayette Escadrille
  • The Millionaire’s Unit
  • Pershing’s Paths of Glory

 

Monday, November 12, 7:30 pm

 

John Brancy and Peter Dugan: Armistice: The Journey Home

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Eisenhower Theater

2700 F Street NW

Baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan WWI musical performance.

Armistice: The Journey Home provides songs with historical narrative written by composers who fought in and were influenced by The Great War. The program is fleshed out with selections from earlier and more modern composers, including Gustav Holst, Oley Speaks, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Leonardo Dugan, Pete Seeger, Franz Schubert, Rudi Stephan, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Ivor Novello.

http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/event/RTVSB

 

Monday, November 12 (evening event, time TBD)

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The 369th Experience

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 2700 F Street NW

The 369th Experience is part of a series of events endorsed by the World War I Centennial Commission and sponsored in part by The Coca Cola Foundation to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I.

A key component of this celebration is the recreation of the 369th Regimental Band, the band, which in its original form, consisted of 65 African American and Puerto Rican gentlemen who charmed the hearts and minds of Americans and Europeans. Led by Bandmaster, James Reese Europe and Drum Major and Lead Vocalist, Noble Sissle, the famous Harlem Hell Fighters regimental band’s spirited arrangements of ragtime, jazz and blues first introduced European audiences to the novel sounds of this American music.

 

Sunday, November 18, 2:00 pm

 

The Washington Chorus’ Brahms' German Requiem & Britten's Ballad of Heroes

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Concert Hall

2700 F Street Northwest Washington, DC, 20566 United States

The Washington Chorus begins its 58th season with Johannes Brahms’ magnificent A German Requiem, Op. 45, and Benjamin Britten’s Ballad of Heroes. Brahms’ beloved requiem looks to console the living, while Britten’s Ballad urges the listener to remember the sacrifices made on their behalf by soldiers killed in war. Artistic Director Christopher Bell conceived the program to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day (November 11, 1918), which marked the end of World War I, now recognized as Veterans Day in the United States. https://thewashingtonchorus.org/master-calendar/brahms2018a

 

Ongoing WWI Exhibitions in the Greater Washington Region

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Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Artist Soldiers: Artistic Expression in the First World War

2nd Floor. through Sunday, November 11, 2018

Artistic expression during the war contributed to this transformation. Before World War I, war art largely depicted heroic military leaders and romanticized battles, done long after the fact, far from the battlefield. The First World War marked a turning point with the appearance of artwork intended to capture the moment in a realistic way, by first-hand participants.

This exhibition examines this form of artistic expression from two complementary perspectives. One is professional artists who were recruited by the U.S. Army, serving in the AEF.  They were the first true combat artists. The other is soldiers who created artwork. Their self-expression in the form of stone carvings in underground shelters, hidden away for a century, has been brought to light for the first time through the stunning photographs of photographer, artist, and explorer, Jeff Gusky. Together, these soldier works of art shed light on World War I in a compelling and very human way.

https://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/artist-soldiers

 

Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Gen. John J. Pershing and World War I, 1917–1918

The desk from General John J. Pershing’s war room, together with a full-size reproduction of the wall map on which he tracked troop movements, form the new landmark display for the Museum’s third floor east. The map shows troop locations on the western front the very day armistice was reached. Under Pershing’s command, two million American soldiers helped break the stalemate in Europe and win the war for the Allies. http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/pershing-world-war-i

 

Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Uniformed Women and the Great War

This display explores the active and largely overlooked role played by women throughout World War I, both as a part of the preparedness effort before 1917 and afterwards as uniformed members of both the U.S. military and civilian voluntary organizations. In a larger historical context, the exhibit highlights the role of uniformed women in the war as a precursor to the passage of the woman suffrage amendment in 1920. http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/uniformed-women-great-war

 

Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Modern Medicine and the Great War

This display explores the ways medicine was applied on the battlefield as well as highlighting important wartime advances in medical science. World War I provided a testing ground for the application of new medical technologies and procedures and, in some cases, accelerated their general acceptance or development in a much wider context. Simultaneously, wartime medical practice reflected the larger concerns and prejudices of early 20th century America as the country coped with the ever-changing complexities of modern industrial society. http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/modern-medicine-and-great-war

 

Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Advertising War: Selling Americans on World War I

Before the advent of radio and motion pictures, art and illustration were the primary forms of mass communication. With the outbreak of World War I, governments, militaries, and service organizations hired artists and illustrators to depict the ravages of war and to rally patriotism. Poster imagery created before and during American military participation was used to mobilize citizens to enlist, give aid to refugees and soldiers, and motivate any and all people to join the fight through rationing, buying bonds, or charity work. The small selection presented here gives glimpses of the war front, illustrates participation on the home front, reveals the new roles of women, demonstrates new technologies, shows the breadth of military service, and depicts America’s allies and enemies at that time. http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/advertising-war

 

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World

An ongoing exhibition commemorating the victims of the 1918 flu pandemic and spreading awareness of epidemics more generally. https://newsdesk.si.edu/releases/new-smithsonian-exhibition-explores-pandemics-and-emerging- infectious-diseases

 

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Double Victory: The African American Military Experience

“A Segregated Military” features exhibits on African American service in World War One.

https://nmaahc.si.edu/double-victory

 

Library of Congress

Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Includes hundreds of objects and documents used to tell the stories of those who were involved in the war, both in the U.S. and abroad. These include Gen. Pershing, African-American soldier Charles Hamilton Houston, and Red Cross volunteer Dorothy Kitchen O’Neill. The exhibit is located in the Southwest Gallery of the LOC’s Thomas Jefferson Building. https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-17-009/major-exhibition-on-world-war-i/2017-01-24/

 

Smithsonian National Postal Museum

My Fellow Soldiers, Letters from World War I

Through personal correspondence written on the frontlines and home front, this centennial exhibition uncovers the history of America’s involvement in World War I. The compelling selection of letters illuminates emotions and thoughts engendered by the war that brought America onto the world stage; raised complex questions about gender, race and ethnic relations; and ushered in the modern era. Included are previously unpublished letters by General John Pershing, the general who led the American Expeditionary Forces and a person who understood the power of the medium. In his postwar letter that begins “My fellow soldiers,” he recognized each individual under his command for bravery and service. My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I was created by the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in collaboration with the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University.

https://postalmuseum.si.edu/MyFellowSoldiers/index.html

 

President Woodrow Wilson House

The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay

In the middle of the Potomac in Mallows Bay, lies the largest shipwreck fleet in the Western Hemisphere, a haunting legacy of WWI. In April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson approved the greatest shipbuilding program in history: an order for 1,000 ships to make up the shortage of transport vessels needed for the war effort. The war ended before any ships were put into service and hundreds were simply scrapped in the Bay. This exhibit will explore the history of this “Ghost Fleet,” tell the stories behind a scandalous wartime boondoggle and highlight the rich archaeological and ecological treasure it has become today. http://www.woodrowwilsonhouse.org/exhibitions

 

The National Museum of the Marine Corps

A World at War: The Marine Corps and U.S. Navy in World War I Art Exhibit

In commemoration of the centennial of World War I, the National Museum of the Marine Corps (NMMC) has opened a joint art exhibition depicting the story of the Marines and Sailors who fought and died in "the war to end all wars" and honors their memory a century later. https://www.usmcmuseum.com/combat_art_gallery.html

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