New WWI Memorial Opens with Flag Ceremony

New WWI Memorial Opens with Flag Ceremony

WWI memorial
Photo by: US Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars

A flag-raising ceremony April 16 will mark the opening of the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The virtual First Colors event will include a historic flyover by the 94th Aero Squadron, which was established during World War I and was the unit of Medal of Honor recipient and flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker, and the raising of a flag that has flown over the U.S. Capitol and nine American World War I battlefield cemeteries in Europe.

There will be performances by the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” including a performance using a bugle originally owned by Gen. John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War I, and the 396th Regiment “Hellfighters Band,” the all-Black band in the segregated Army during World War I that helped bring jazz to Europe.

Actor Gary Sinise will host the 90-minute program, which also will feature remarks from senior military and government leaders, including Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley.

The virtual event begins at 10 a.m. Eastern time. To register to watch and learn more about the memorial, click here. The memorial will open to the public on April 17.

More than 4.7 million Americans served during World War I, according to the memorial’s website. As many as 204,000 came home wounded and 116,516 died overseas.

The nation marked the centennial of the war from 2014 to 2018, striving to give long-overdue recognition to those who served in the Great War.

Construction of the World War I memorial, located just steps from the White House, began in December 2019. It will eventually feature “A Soldier’s Journey,” an almost 60-foot bronze sculptural wall that depicts a series of scenes showcasing a soldier’s experience during the war.

The wall will be completed and installed in 2024.

For more on the memorial, click here.