National WWI Museum and Memorial Debuts New Main Gallery Upgrades Nov. 7 and Honors Veterans Nov. 10-12

Phased updates to the Main Gallery will continue into 2025 and are the most expansive changes to the Main Gallery since the 2006 opening.

Contact: Karis Erwin, National WWI Museum and Memorial, 816.888.8122,

KANSAS CITY, MO. – Timed to coincide with Veterans Day, the National WWI Museum and Memorial announced four major upgrades to the Main Gallery that will open to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 7. “Prologue: Grand Illusions,” “Interactive Touch Tables,” “America Mobilizes” and “Move 'Em Out and Bon Voyage” will reopen to feature new technology and stories showcasing the enduring impact of WWI.

Visitors celebrating Veterans Day at the Museum and Memorial will be some of the first to view these new spaces. From Nov. 10-12, the Museum and Memorial will offer free General Admission for Veterans/Active-Duty Military and half-price general admission for the public.

This phase of construction follows the recent renovation to the Lower Level that opened in May, featuring the Berman Family Gallery and Open Storage Center, and precedes additional upgrades to the Main Gallery that will take place through 2025.

“The Main Gallery upgrades opening November 7, as well as the projects that will take place into 2025, are the most expansive changes to the Main Gallery since opening in 2006,” said Dr. Christopher Warren, Vice President of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator of the National WWI Museum and Memorial. “Guests will experience upgraded technology and new and interesting narratives from WWI that will create a richer and more immersive experience.”

Phase I of Main Gallery upgrades are detailed below:

  • Prologue: Grand Illusions: Setting the stage for war, a map-based interactive and large-format media frieze brings a global perspective to the gallery by showcasing empires, strategic alliances and everyday citizens who would soon be in the midst of catastrophe.
  • Interactive Touch Tables: Four new interactive touch tables feature unique programming covering aircraft, communications, maritime and uniforms – with the overarching theme of wartime innovations. 
  • America Mobilizes: The story of America’s great mobilization for the war – including Uncle Sam and a heavy emphasis on American patriotism – highlights the mood as Americans joined the war effort in 1917. The gallery also sets the stage for provocative stories of dissent.
  • Move 'Em Out and Bon Voyage: Draft mules pull the Museum’s caisson artifact, accompanied by their handler, and a mural and two new interactive displays highlight the integral role of animals in the war effort on all sides.

As phased construction continues into 2025, the Museum and Memorial will remain open and guest impact is anticipated to be minimal. The next phase of the project, “Into the Trenches” opening in late spring 2024, will recreate the trench experience and allow guests to step inside the displays and immerse themselves in different settings. Two new films will focus on what was supposed to be a short victory and the advent of modern warfare. 

The original designer of the Main Gallery, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, is also the designer for this newest round of Main Gallery updates. The exhibition designer and fabricator is Taylor Studios Inc., Richard Lewis Media Group is the creator and producer of the interactive digital media programs and Electrosonic is responsible for the AV design and integration.

Media interested in an advance preview should reach out to Karis Erwin, Vice President of Marketing and Guest Services, at or 816.888.8122 to arrange a visit.

About the National WWI Museum and Memorial

The National WWI Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum and Memorial holds the most comprehensive collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war. The Museum and Memorial takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National WWI Museum and Memorial inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit