News Releases

Smithsonian Commemorates America’s Veterans With Performances, Exhibitions and More

November 8, 2017

The Smithsonian commemorates veterans throughout history with a series of performances, exhibitions and family activities. All programs are free unless otherwise indicated.


National Air and Space Museum

“Remembering World War I: Stories From the Great War”

This museum-wide family friendly event will explore a wide range of stories from WWI about technological advances that radically reshaped modern warfare, including aviation, and social experiences of the first large-scale industrial war that affected millions of people. The day will feature presentations, exhibition tours and hands-on activities. (Saturday, Nov. 11; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

National Museum of the American Indian

Celebrate Veterans Day With Programs Highlighting the National Native American Veterans Memorial

A Veterans Day observance at the National Museum of the American Indian will feature a color guard, as well as presentations by the Warriors of AniKituhwa. Charly Lowry (Lumbee) of the band Dark Water Rising will perform. The museum will also launch the first phase of an international design competition to build the National Native American Veterans Memorial on that day. The Veterans Memorial will be located on museum grounds on the National Mall. A blue-ribbon jury of Native and non-Native artists, designers, scholars and veterans will judge the design submissions. (Saturday, Nov. 11; 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.)


National Air and Space Museum

La Grande Illusion

 La Grande Illusion, as originally released, is widely regarded as a masterpiece of French cinema and is typically cited as one of the great films of world cinema. The story explores class relationships among a small group of French officers who are prisoners of war during WWI and plot to escape. The film depicts the decline of the European world of privilege caused by the war and the complex and divergent reactions to the passing of the old order. Visitors can test their knowledge of WWI in a trivia contest before the film. The event is free, but tickets are required and available at (Saturday, Nov. 11; 7 p.m.)


National Air and Space Museum

“Artist Soldiers: Artistic Expression in the First World War”

WWI remade the world geopolitically and transformed how societies engage and relate to military conflict. Artistic expression during the war contributed to this transformation. Before WWI, war art largely depicted heroic military leaders and romanticized battles, done long after the fact, far from the battlefield. WWI marked a turning point with the appearance of artwork intended to capture the moment in a realistic way, by first-hand participants. This exhibition examines this form of artistic expression from two complementary perspectives: one, professional artists who were recruited by the U.S. Army; the other, soldiers who created artwork. Together they shed light on WWI in a compelling and very human way. (Through Nov. 11, 2018)

National Museum of American History

“The Price of Freedom: Americans at War”

“The Price of Freedom: Americans at War,” surveys the history of the U.S. military from the Colonial era to the present with more than 800 original artifacts, graphic images and interactive stations. The exhibition’s multimedia experiences have been enhanced in time for Veterans Day, including the new display of the only Medal of Honor to be awarded to a combat photographer (awarded to Marine Cpl. William Thomas Perkins Jr. who was killed in Vietnam) in the Medal of Honor Gallery portion of the exhibition, and the addition of an eight-minute Korean War video that uses historic footage, animated maps and contemporary images to explain how the country became central to the Cold War struggle and why the conflict in Korea continues today. (Ongoing)

National Museum of the American Indian

“Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces”

This exhibition tells the remarkable history of the brave American Indian and Alaska Native men and women who have served in the U.S. military. Native peoples have participated in every major U.S. military encounter from the Revolutionary War to today’s conflicts in the Middle East, serving at a higher rate in proportion to their population than any other ethnic group.

The contributions of Native servicemen and women have been largely unrecognized. This will soon change. The “Patriot Nations” exhibition announces the development of the National Native American Veterans Memorial, commissioned by Congress to be placed on the grounds of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. (Closes January 2018 in Washington, D.C.; open Nov. 9–15 in New York City)

National Portrait Gallery

“The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now”

This exhibition presents the assessment of the human costs of modern war through the individual faces of active duty soldiers and veterans through documentary and portraiture work from six featured artists. (Closes Jan. 28, 2018)

National Postal Museum

“My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I”

This exhibition is a presentation of handwritten letters, the main form of communication between the home and military fronts during WWI. The selection of correspondence presented in this exhibition illuminates the relationships, thoughts and emotions of the authors that grappled with the effects of war. (Through Nov. 29, 2018)

# # #



Media only 
Becky Haberacker  
(202) 633-5183

US flag