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We’re home–now what? WWI Museum looks at veterans from the Great War

Americans are familiar with the treatment of Vietnam War veterans returning from the front lines. It was a divisive time in our nation’s history and, sadly, veterans often felt the wrath of those opposed to the war.

But what was it like for veterans returning from World War I?

The National WWI Museum and Memorial at Liberty Memorial will host a special exhibit that helps answer that questions. The museum is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum and Memorial holds the most comprehensive 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.

From the earliest history of armed conflict soldiers have done their duty and returned to their homes and families. In the aftermath of WWI, millions of servicemen and women came home from a war that was unprecedented in its impact. Opening Tuesday, March 12, We’re Home—Now What? examines the challenging transition for service personnel from war-time duty to civilian life through a series of posters, images, first-hand accounts and more. Entrance to the exhibition is included with general admission to the Museum and Memorial.

Other special events at the museum

Most people are not aware that dogs only see in shades of blue and yellow. In observance of K9 Veterans Day, the Museum and Memorial hosts a special ceremony on the Museum and Memorial Mall at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 10 featuring the raising of a commemorative blue and yellow K9 veteran flag and the opportunity to meet and pay tribute to K9 heroes. Following the ceremony, the Museum and Memorial hosts a free screening of the highly-praised animated film Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero at 3 p.m. Additionally, the event features a display about K9 veterans, including special head gear that will allow people to view elements of the Museum and Memorial in blue and yellow as a dog would see them.

On Tuesday, March 19, the Museum and Memorial hosts Mayoral Town Hall: Millennial Edition, a live event featuring Kansas City mayoral candidates. The free event begins at 7 p.m. with pre-program reception tickets available for $12. Tickets and a livestream of the event are available at theworldwar.org. The event is presented in partnership with KCUR Generation Listen, Young Friends of the Kansas City Public Library, The Modernists and GenKC.

How did American women help the United States mobilize for the then-largest military endeavor in the nation’s history? On Thursday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m., Dr. Lynn Dumenil of Occidental College explores World War I’s surprising impact on women and, in turn, the effect of women on the war by tracing the experiences of a diverse group of women, including African Americans, dissidents and pacifists. The event is free with RSVP.

The Museum and Memorial welcomes the public to celebrate International Tolkien Reading Day at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 28 with Dr. Joseph Loconte, author of the New York Times best-selling book A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918. During the free program, Loconte will discuss both J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S Lewis’ experiences in the World War I trenches and how their service inspired epic stories that changed the course of literature.

Other events during the month include: Hands-on History (Saturdays, 11 a.m.), Day in the Life with Living Historians (Sunday, March 10, All Day), Sip & Stretch: Pilates at the Museum (Tuesday, March 12, 6:30 p.m.), Writing the War (Wednesday, March 13, 6:30 p.m.), The Modernist Happy Hour (Thursday, March 28, 5:30 p.m.) and Story Time: Knit Your Bit! (Saturday, March 10, 10:30 a.m.).

The National WWI Museum and Memorial holds the most comprehensive 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 personal experiences of the war.

March National WWI Museum and Memorial Events

  • Every Thursday, 1:30 p.m.: Complimentary Tour (FREE with paid admission)
  • Every Saturday, 11 a.m.: Hands-on History (FREE)
  • Sunday, March 10, All Day: Day in the Life with Living Historians (FREE)
  • Sunday, March 10, 2 p.m.: K9 Veterans Day Ceremony (FREE)
  • Sunday, March 10, 3 p.m.: Sgt. Stubby: An American Herofilm screening (FREE with RSVP)
  • Tuesday, March 12, 6:30 p.m.: Sip & Stretch – Pilates at the Museum ($5)
  • Wednesday, March 13, 6:30 p.m.: Writing the War (FREE with RSVP, Members only)
  • Tuesday, March 19, 7 p.m.: Mayoral Town Hall: Millennial Edition (FREE with RSVP)
  • Thursday, March 21, 6:30 p.m.: The Second Line of Defense – American Women and WWI(FREE with RSVP)
  • Thursday, March 28, 5:30 p.m.: The Modernist Happy Hour (FREE)
  • Thursday, March 28, 7 p.m.: A Hobbit, a Wardrobe and a Great War (FREE with RSVP)
  • Saturday, March 30, 10:30 a.m.: Story Time – Knit Your Bit! (FREE with RSVP)

To learn more, visit theworldwar.org.

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