A traveling extension of the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Mo., is scheduled to stop Friday at the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Called “Honoring Our History Tour,” the exhibit is housed in a custom 18-wheel truck and features 66 WWI artifacts, including weapons, uniforms, posters and flags.
“It follows the general interpretive themes of the chronology and individual subject matters like trench warfare, women in the war, African-Americans fighting overseas for liberty of the world but not having liberty at home,” said Doran Cart, senior curator at the museum.
The centennial anniversary of the beginning of World War I is two years away, and while much has changed in modern combat techniques since the war, Cart said that many of today's principles of warfare were first used then.
For example, World War I saw the beginning of air warfare after the Wright brothers developed fixed-wing airplanes that proved useful in the war as mobile observation platforms and to carry soldiers armed with machine guns.
In the first World War, soldiers used weapons capable of long-range fire. These weapons, while primitive, were similar to machine guns used today, Cart said. And wireless radio communications became vital to the war effort.
A primary goal of the museum, Cart said, is to ensure that the people involved in World War I and their sacrifices are not forgotten.