CARSON CITY – In honor of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the Nevada State Museum in Carson City will be hosting a special event – “Armistice: Commemorating the End of the Great War – on Saturday, Nov. 10.
Admission is free.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and opens with a presentation of the colors by the Pyramid Lake Veterans and Warriors Organization. At 11 a.m., World War I Cavalry reenactors will be in the museum parking lot, exhibiting their horses and gear.
The event also marks the culmination of the museum’s Poppy Project, in which volunteers, students, scouts and community members have spent the past six months constructing paper poppies at various museum events.
Inspired by the poem, “In Flanders Field,” the red poppy has become an internationally recognized symbol of the remembrance and welfare of war veterans. A display of the poppies will be featured in the Dema Guinn Concourse of the museum. Attending veterans will receive a packet of Flanders Poppy seeds donated by Botanical Interests, Inc.
“What an honor it has been these past two years hosting programs and events recalling America’s involvement in WWI, and to meet the many veterans who joined us,” said Nevada State Museum Director Myron Freedman. “This final program on the centennial eve of the war’s close will be a moving experience for everyone, and one that binds us to the sacrifice of Nevadans a century ago.
From noon to 3 p.m., representatives from veteran service organizations will be available at information tables. Also, there will be readings of poetry and of a few short biographies from Nevada’s Golden Stars book – a collection of memorials to Nevadans who served and died in WWI.
Throughout the day, visitors also have the opportunity to see the museum’s historic Coin Press No. 1 in operation as commemorative medallions featuring the USS Nevada battleship will be minted. Launched in 1914, the famed battleship served in both World Wars.
Those who wish can purchase a pure silver “blank” in the museum store for $60 and have it minted on the coin press as a keepsake.
Visitors can also take in the museum’s special World War I exhibit –“Remembering the Great War: 1914-1918,” – in the museum’s South Gallery. The exhibit features artifacts ranging from historic photographs to patriotic posters to a U.S. Army captain’s uniform from the balloon corps to helmets to a silent film of American troops in France.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is the photographs, all taken by the Photographic Section of the French Army. How the photos came from France to Carson City isn’t known, but they were part of a larger collection acquired by the museum from Carson City history buff and collector Daun Bohall. This is the first time the images have been publicly displayed.
Thousands of Nevadans volunteered or were drafted into military service during World War I, many of them serving in the Army’s 91stDivision, also known as the “Wild West Division.” There were 116,798 Americans who died in the war, including 197 from Nevada.
On Sunday, Nov. 11 – as part of the United States WWI Centennial Commission Bells of Peace – veterans will toll the Liberty Bell in Loftin Park (outside the Museum’s front entrance) in remembrance of those who served and sacrificed. The short program will start at 10:45 a.m., and include remarks by Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell, a U.S. Navy veteran. The playing of taps will close the program.