June is packed with interesting events at the National WWI Museum and Liberty Memorial in Kansas City.
The sixth annual Taps at the Tower event includes the rare opportunity to ascend to the top of the Liberty Memorial after each evening’s ceremony. Other activities and programs include examining the Treaty of Versailles 100 years later and the debut of an online exhibition detailing the role of volunteers during the Great War.
Taps at the Tower happens each evening at sunset (8:45 p.m.) from Sunday, June 16 – Saturday, June 22. Taps at the Tower links the beauty and simplicity of the Taps bugle call with the symbolism of the Liberty Memorial. People are invited to come and use the grounds each evening, have a picnic, play games and enjoy the outdoors. At sunset, people will gather at the Liberty Memorial Tower to experience Taps being played during a brief, moving ceremony.
For the first time, guests are invited to ascend to the top of the Tower at no charge following the ceremony each evening to enjoy striking and beautiful panoramic views of Kansas City.
June 28 marks the centennial of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which formally brought an end to the first global war in human history. The Museum and Memorial marks the occasion with a trio of programs beginning with The People and the Peace at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 17 as Senior Curator Doran Cart examines the people who influenced “the peace” and those who were left out. At 5 p.m. on Friday, June 21, representatives from Slovakia participate in a Tree of Peace planting ceremony to honor those who perished in WWI. On Wednesday, June 26 at 6:30 p.m., special projects historian Jennifer Zoebelein discusses the postwar conference that sought to bring a lasting peace to a world devastated by war during The Paris Peace Conference at 100. All three events are free to the public with RSVP.
Now available online, The Volunteers: Americans Join World War I examines the stories of the young men and women who transformed the meaning of volunteerism. Prompted by altruism, personal ambition, a search for adventure or hope for an Allied-led redemption of a devastated Europe, these American volunteers engaged in the war before the United States entered the conflict. This digital exhibition, produced in collaboration with AFS Intercultural Programs, shares their inspirational stories.
In Europe alone, World War I displaced approximately 10 million people. In 2017, an unprecedented 68.5 million people worldwide were forced to leave their homes, including more than 25 million by war and violence. At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday June 13, Museum and Memorial President and CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor moderates a timely panel conversation with Nazanin Ash of the International Rescue Committee and Abdul Bakar of Della Lamb Community Services as they address the roots, realities and prospects of refugees and global migration.
Since 1941, Congress and the Department of Defense have reviewed the military’s process for awarding valor medals to ensure minority veterans were recognized equitably. No review has yet occurred for World War I veterans. At 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, members of the Valor Medals Review Task Force discus their work to recognize and honor the WWI veterans who were denied the Medal of Honor due to race.
Other events during the month include: Hands-on History (Saturdays at 11 a.m.); Mrs. Wilson’s Knitting Circle (Saturday, June 1, 10:30 a.m.); Museum Insider: Behind the Stacks (Wednesday, June 5, 6 p.m.); History Happy Hour (Thursday, June 6, 4 p.m.); National Doughnut Day featuring free doughnuts from Krispy Kreme (Friday, June 7, 10 a.m.; while supplies last); HEAR Now Festival (Saturday, June 8, 1 p.m.); Day in the Life with Living Historians (Sunday, June 9, All Day a.m.); Flag Day concert (Friday, June 14, 1 p.m.); Kansas City History Trivia Brunch (Sunday, June 23, 10:30 a.m.); and the Modernist Happy Hour (Thursday, June 27, 5:30 p.m.).