In 2004, the Museum was designated by Congress as the nation’s official World War I Museum, and construction started on a new 80,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art museum and research center underneath the Liberty Memorial.
The National World War I Museum and Memorial opened in 2006 to national acclaim. Since then, more than one million people have visited the museum, including Former Vice President Dick Cheney, General Colin Powell, President Barack Obama (as a presidential candidate in 2008), Senator John McCain and actor and singer Kevin Costner. Additionally, Frank Buckles, America’s last surviving WWI veteran, visited the Museum over Memorial Day weekend in 2008.
Today, the Museum operates as non-profit organization dedicated to honoring those who served in the Great War by:
- Maintaining the Liberty Memorial as a beacon of freedom and a symbol of the courage, patriotism, sacrifice and honor of all who served in World War I
- Interpreting the history of World War I to encourage public involvement and informed decision-making
- Providing exhibitions and educational programs that engage diverse audiences
- Collecting and preserving historical materials with the highest professional standards to share the stories of the Great War through the eyes of those who lived it.