It will be a red, white and blue Memorial Day weekend at Union Station and at the National World War I Museum and Memorial.
Sunday’s annual Celebration at the Station patriotic concert with the Kansas City Symphony begins at 8 p.m. The stage in front of Union Station faces the north lawn of the Liberty Memorial. Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome. Singer Patti Austin is the musical guest. Fireworks over the memorial will follow.
The main Memorial Day observance at 10 a.m. Monday is a free and public event on the Liberty Memorial deck. The main speaker will be Michael St Maur Sheil, whose photographs of World War I battle sites as they appear today are featured in a traveling exhibit called “Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys 1917-1918.”
The exhibit, co-curated with Sheil by the National World War I Museum, is set up on the deck of the memorial. An identical version has been exhibited in London and is currently in Liverpool.
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“It tells the story of the American doughboy through the lens of contemporary landscape photography,” said Matt Naylor, president and CEO of the National World War I Museum.
Admission to the museum will be free Friday through Monday for U.S. military veterans and active-duty personnel. All other visitors will be admitted for half the regular ticket price. The museum will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.
A free shuttle will run between the memorial and the Union Station parking garage from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday.
All weekend, free research stations will allow visitors to look up their relatives in various electronic databases, including the National Archives, to learn about their role in the Great War.
Vintage military vehicles will be on display on the memorial grounds Friday through Monday.
A chance to handle World War I artifacts will be at 2 p.m. Saturday. At the same time, the 35th Infantry Division band will perform.
The war proclamation signed by President Woodrow Wilson on April 6, 1917, remains on display through Oct. 27 in a special exhibit, “Revolutions! 1917.” The document is on loan from the National Archives and has not been publicly exhibited in more than 50 years.
Also, a soccer ball kicked by British soldiers across No Man’s Land in Loos, Belgium, on Christmas 1915 is on display through Monday in the main museum gallery.