KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dozens of dignitaries from around the world are making their way into a wet and windy Kansas City to take part in an international event Thursday at the National WWI Museum and Memorial, commemorating the centennial entry of the United States into World War I.
The United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917. Crews outside the National WWI Museum and Memorial have been setting up for days, for an event organizers say will draw the eyes of the nation. The "In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace" event is the nation's only official event to mark this day.
Workers and volunteers moved chairs, lifted equipment, and put final touches in place. They're expecting about 5,000 people to listen to speakers yes, but more than that they say, to learn about the war, the role of our nation, and how decisions made 100 years ago still affect the course of our country today.
Edwin Fountain is the Vice Chair of the U.S. WWI Centennial Commission. He said, "This event is not about speeches written for the occasion. It's not about political speeches. It's about bringing back the words of the people who lived through the war, and made fresh today
"We're anticipating and there is an air of excitement about that, but at the same time, a moment of awe and of seriousness," said Matthew Naylor, president of the National WWI Museum & Memorial.
There is no public parking. KCATA buses will shuttle people for free at Main and Pershing.