Honoring Veterans Day at Liberty Memorial - KCTV5

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Honoring Veterans Day at Liberty Memorial

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

In the Kansas City metro there are several events going on to honor those who have served.

One of the largest is at Liberty Memorial where admission is free to the National World War I Museum on Veterans Day.

Admission inside is giving young and old alike a great opportunity to learn more about the lives of veterans past and present and the sacrifices they have made. Inside there are interactive displays including the option to talk with costumed soldiers representing infantrymen in the World War I era.

Bob Dudley is a veteran, great tour guide and storyteller at the museum. On Tuesday he taught an interactive history lesson to ROTC students.

Dudley's enthusiasm attracts a crowd of visitors at the World War I Museum.

"It was a kick in the teeth when I came home and got spit on. To me Veterans Day is important because it allows the country to recognize the service of its veterans," he said.

Dudley served nearly three decades in the Army, a Vietnam War veteran who can relate to the stories in the museum where he volunteers two days a week.

"To inspire thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the WWI era meaningful and relevant to future generations. Bottom line. Learn from history," he said.

It's the museum's mission statement, but also Dudley's, who remembers his fellow veterans for their service.

"This is the one time a year when someone can look at the men and women who put on the uniform who said ‘I will give my all, I will do that, I will sacrifice my life so we can all enjoy the freedoms that we often take for granted,'" he said.

The day's events started with a talk from Pulitzer Prize winning biographer A. Scott Berg.

"We're just thrilled to have the Pulitzer Prize winner A. Scott Berg here delivering the keynote address, but then this evening giving a more extensive lecture about the life and legacy of President (Woodrow) Wilson whose contribution to global peace cannot be underestimated," said the President and CEO of the WWI Museum Matthew Naylor.

Countless veterans were among the thousands of visitors on Veterans Day, many taking it all in for the first time. Even some who have served said they learned a lot on this Veterans Day.

"It's scary. You don't realize how much they went through. I really didn't," said Gerald B. Young, a World War II veteran.

"It's a day for all the Americans of service men and women who lost their lives. That's the biggest part I see about it," said Walter Sidney, a Marine Corps veteran.

This day in 1918 marked the day World War II ended, but this year also marks the 100 years since the Great War ended.

Berg will speak again at 6:30 p.m. Before that, the Lyric Opera Veterans Chorus will perform at 6 p.m. in the J.C. Nichols Auditorium.

There is free parking and a shuttle at Union Station.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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