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Updates from the Virginia WWI and WWII Commemoration Commission

“The world must be made safe for democracy.”

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson went before a joint session of Congress to request a declaration of war against Germany. Wilson had kept the United States out of the conflict since its beginning in 1914, but a growing threat to democracy brought the nation into the fray. By April 6, 1917, four days after President Wilson’s address, Congress had made its decision: America would go to war.

A series of programs in spring and summer of 2017 will mark the 100th anniversary of U.S. entry into World War I, a war that would ultimately cost more than 100,000 American lives, including those of 3,700 Virginians.

Programs are free and open to the public.

April 6, 2017
Virginia World War I Memorial Carillon Tower
Byrd Park, Richmond
11:45 A.M.
Bell Concert
12:00 P.M.
Commemorative Ceremony


Join us for a commemoration marking the date on which America declared war on Germany a century ago. The program will feature a bell concert, remarks from historians and public officials, and WWI-era music from the John Marshall Regimental Band Alumni.

Museums and organizations from around the state will be onsite, along with the Commission’s Profiles of Honor Tour.

WWI Speaker Series
Hosted in partnership with the Virginia National Guard

BG Lapthe Flora
Diversity as a Force Multiplier in a Military Force
Bedford Welcome Center, Bedford • March 29

Alexander F. Barnes
Many Roads Traveled: America’s Foreign-Born Doughboys
Virginia War Museum, Newport News • May 6

Chris Calkins and Alexander F. Barnes
Virginia’s Infantrymen: From the Civil War to the World Wars
Sailor’s Creek Battlefield State Park, Farmville • August 20

Visit VirginiaWorldWarI.org/2017 for updates and a full listing of statewide WWI events.