​Bringing Peace to the World: WWI Centennial Commemoration on April 6, 2017


Once known as the “Great War,” World War I remains an unprecedented event in history. Previous wars failed to inform and prepare countries for the terrible conflict that ensued after the summer of 1914. Everyone hoped and prayed for a decisive victory. However, one unexpected event occurred after another, permanently altering both Europe and Western culture by the end of the war in 1918.

When America stepped into the conflict, it successfully tipped the balance in favor of the Allies. The United States had to protect its own interests, but it also fought to make the entire world a safer place for democracy. This April 6th marks the centennial of our entry into World War I, an occasion worth acknowledging and honoring. Here are some ways you and your family can recognize the day.

1.      Participate in the official national celebration.

To commemorate the day, the United States World War I Centennial Commission announced a national ceremony on April 6th at the Kansas City’s National World War I Museum and Memorial. If you’re in the Kansas City area, consider attending this once in a lifetime event.

If Kansas City is too far to travel, check out local activities in your community. There are complimentary events planned all across the nation, and every American is encouraged to participate.


2.      Spend the day volunteering or make a donation.

What better way to commemorate an event like this than by giving back to your community? Gather your friends and family together and choose a few good causes to donate your attention to this April 6th. Pay special attention to charities and organizations that help veterans, advocate for world peace, or work tirelessly to make this world a better place.

If you can, spend some time serving your community in person by volunteering your time. Alternatively, you can donate money to a worthy cause. Again, choose one that’s appropriate for the occasion to truly honor the spirit of the day.

3.      Put yourself in the shoes of a World War I era citizen.

Looking for a way to really relate to Americans that lived through World War I? Consider taking the day off and learn more about what life was like during the war.

One way to do this is to prepare a meal that consists of food that was available to civilian Americans during that period. With staples like fresh produce, bread, and flour disappearing from markets, homemakers really had to get creative back then when it came to food. Wartime cookbooks touted ideas for foods like “potted cheese,” fish sausage, and other odd goodies.

Consider snagging a few wartime recipes from the internet or a vintage cookbook and try some of the ideas with your friends and family. This offers an excellent opportunity to open a dialogue with children about wartime, rationing, and the importance of not wasting food.


4.      Read up on World War I history.

Naturally, we all learned a thing or two about World War I in history class. However, standard history books and courses can only cover the basic facts. They taught you a handful of important dates and revealed certain details about specific battles and strategies. However, they don’t really drill into how the war affected individuals, communities, and towns across the country.

Tap into the personal side of the effects of World War I by exploring some regional military history books on the subject. You’ll be rewarded by firsthand accounts and personal stories, as well as rare vintage photography and news articles to learn more about this important chapter of history.

Try reading a volume on how World War I affected people in your own community to really connect with the past. You just may find you gain a whole new perspective on life!