“Sacred Service” Now Open at the National WWI Museum and Memorial

Counselor, leader, friend - the chaplains who answered the call from many faiths and fighting nations in WWI.

Contact: Karis Erwin, National WWI Museum and Memorial, 816.888.8122, kerwin@theworldwar.org

Select exhibition images/captions available on Dropbox.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National WWI Museum and Memorial announced its newest exhibition, Sacred Service. Open on Thursday, May 23, 2024, Sacred Service highlights the chaplains from many faiths and fighting nations in WWI whose service provided friendship, compassion and spiritual guidance.

With hundreds of thousands enlisting to fight, religious guidance and leadership become priorities and rabbis, pastors, monks, imams, priests answer the call. Many were as unprepared for the horrors of war as the soldiers they served, yet strove to bring courage, comfort and compassion to millions – on and off the battlefield. Sacred Service is a powerful view of the Great War beyond combat tactics and troop movements, and highlights the equally intense, yet singular experiences of the chaplains – whether faithful, doubting or visionary – as they counseled their legions.

“The individual stories of WWI highlight what ordinary people were experiencing during WWI. Sacred Service is a true and personal look into the experience of chaplains and the importance of faith, compassion and friendship during one’s bleakest hour,” said Matt Naylor, President and CEO of the National WWI Museum and Memorial.

Guiding visitors on a journey through the physical and spiritual environment of war, Sacred Service incorporates artifacts, film, images, first-person accounts and – for the first time – interactive 3D digital models. Select objects in Sacred Service will be accompanied by a QR code that leads guests to the digital platform Sketchfab to view the object in 3D. The technology allows an individual to maneuver the object in a digital environment, in some cases even flipping it over so see the bottom or back, otherwise not visible in the exhibition

Admission to Sacred Service is included in a general admission ticket. A variety of engaging programs will support the exhibition. Stay tuned to theworldwar.org for more information.

Sacred Service is made possible through generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc., the City of Kansas City, Missouri Neighborhood Tourism Development Fund and by donors to the National WWI Museum and Memorial.


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 theworldwar.org.