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National World War I Museum moves one step closer to prestigious designation

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Congress passed a bill that could soon change the official name of the National World War I Museum. Instead it would be called the National World War I Museum and Memorial.

People who work at the museum say this new designation has been a long time coming. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill in May. Friday, the U.S. Senate also passed it as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.

It effectively designates the museum to add the words "and memorial" at the end, which museum officials say is a bit of a distinction compared to the recognition the museum received 10 years ago as "America's National World War I Museum."

“Recognition from Congress is a very special thing and the museum is grateful for the fact that not only have we been recognized once before back in 2004, but we've now been recognized by Congress officially for a second time. We think that's pretty special,” marketing and communication manager Mike Vietti said.

Museum officials say the new name validates the mission of the museum and the work of more than 80,000 Kansas City residents who came together to build it shortly after World War I. The bill now moves to the White House where it awaits a signature from President Obama.