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The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission was created by an Act of Congress in 2013. Members of the 12-member Commission were appointed by the President and the leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the National World War I Museum. All four living former Presidents have agreed to serve the commission as honorary chairmen.

The Commission’s mission was to plan, develop, and execute programs, projects and activities to commemorate the Centennial of World War I (WWI).
During te centennial period the WWI Centennial Commission:

  • Developed educational programs targeted at a variety of audiences and delivered through a variety of broadcast, print and digital media, with the goal of teaching Americans about the country’s most forgotten war.
  • Organized activities, events, and symposia to commemorate American involvement in “the War that Changed the World.”
  • Created a National World War I Memorial in Washington DC, and brought attention to the thousands of World War I memorials in communities across the country that honor Americans who served in the war.
  • Served as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information about events and activities related to the US WWI Centennial Commemoration.

Between 2013 and 2019, the Commission served as the lead organizer for the nation’s commemorative events and coordinated the activities of thousands individuals and institutions as they discovered and told the story of "How WWI Changed America". The Commission’s mission was to raise awareness of and give meaning to the events of a hundred years ago, using educational experiences and programming for all ages.

At the start of the project World War I was absolutely America’s forgotten war, even though more Americans gave their lives during that war than during Korea and Vietnam combined, and even though it profoundly shaped the rest of “the American century.” The Commission used the Centennial as a timely and essential opportunity to educate the country’s citizens about the causes, courses and consequences of the war; they led the honoring of the heroism and sacrifice of those Americans who served. The crowning jewel of this effort is now manifest in an incredible new National WWI Memorial in the nation's capitol across the street from the White House.