Canvas attachmentWorkers from The Grunley Construction Company team install the canvas with a depiction of the A Soldiers Journey sculpture at the new National World War Memorial in Washington, DC.  

First Colors Ceremony Introduces America's New World War I Memorial

The United States World War I Centennial Commission in cooperation with the Doughboy Foundation, the National Park Service and the American Battle Monuments Commission is sponsoring a major event to celebrate the inaugural raising of the American flag over the nation's soon to open World War I Memorial in Washington, DC on Friday, April 16 at 10:00 a.m. EDT / 7:00 a.m. PDT.

FC Logo FullColorThe FIRST COLORS Ceremony will be an emotionally powerful, live-broadcast program that commemorates the generation of Americans who fought, with our allies, in the trenches and on the home front to bring an end to one of the most consequential wars in history.

Hosted by award-winning actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, the 75-minute program will pay tribute to America's role in WWI and highlight our national unity with military fanfare, musical performances, and guest appearances by notable participants from across the country. Viewers will hear insights from high-profile elected officials, military leaders, and the dedicated team who has enriched the nation's understanding of World War I and created a lasting tribute in our nation's capital to engage Americans for generations to come.

"A century ago, 4.7 million Americans sent their sons and daughters off to fight a war that would change the world. They traveled to a country they had never visited, to fight in a war they didn't start, to achieve peace and liberty for a people they didn't know. FIRST COLORS takes a look at the how and why of the Memorial that honors their service," said Daniel Dayton, Executive Director, US World War I Centennial Commission. 

The FIRST COLORS Ceremony is designed to "bring our history home." It marks the final leg of a journey that began with an American flag that first flew over our nation's capital on April 6, 2017, commemorating the Centennial Day that the United States went to war in 1917. This Commemorative Flag has since flown over American battlefield cemeteries in Europe, honoring the Doughboys who gave their all during the war. The colors will now return home to their final destination, forever flying above the new National World War I Memorial.

"The extraordinary sacrifice made by Americans to conclusively end a world war is more than worthy of this recognition; one that is long overdue. I'm proud to participate in this landmark event honoring their sacrifices, and to renew our pledge: To protect our future by remembering our past," said Sinise.

All are invited to be a part of American history and watch the free live-broadcast event. To register to watch and learn more about the Memorial and the FIRST COLORS Ceremony, please visit The live broadcast will be available for public viewing at

A complete media resource kit can be accessed at

Media may request site tours and interviews by contacting Abigail Kelly at, or 314-520-9505

About the WWICC
The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission established by Public Law 112-272, passed by the 112th Congress on January 14, 2013 and signed by the President on January 16, 2013, and further refined by Public Law 113-291, Subtitle J, Section 3091. The Commission's responsibilities included: planning, developing, and executing programs, projects, and activities to commemorate the centennial of World War I; encouraging private organizations and State and local governments to organize and participate in activities commemorating the centennial of World War I; facilitating and coordinating activities throughout the United States relating to the centennial of World War I; serving as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information about events and plans for the centennial of World War I; and developing recommendations for Congress and the President for commemorating the centennial of World War I. The Commission is building the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC with private donations, in partnership with the Doughboy Foundation. The Commission will sunset after the Memorial is dedicated.

About the Doughboy Foundation
The Doughboy Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, supports and encourages planning and execution of programs, projects, and activities commemorating and educating the public on America's role in World War I, "The War that Changed the World." The Foundation encourages private & educational organizations, Federal, State, and local governments, and all individual Americans to Keep Faith with the American Doughboys and every American who served in WWI. The Foundation's three-fold mission: Commemorate the experience of those Americans who served; Honor the 4.7 million Americans who put on the uniform to answer the call of their country; Inspire 21st-century Americans and all future generations to learn about, remember, and understand how WWI transformed our country and the world. The Doughboy Foundation has worked in partnership with the U.S. WWI Centennial Commission to build the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. When the Centennial Commission sunsets after the Memorial is dedicated, the Doughboy Foundation will continue its mission of stewardship for the National WWI Memorial, and the remembrance of all those who served and sacrificed in WWI.

About Gary Sinise
For 40 years, award-winning actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise has stood as an advocate on behalf of America's defenders. He began in the early '80s, supporting local Vietnam veterans' groups in the Chicago area, and continued into the '90s, when his portrayal of "Lt. Dan" in Forrest Gump formed an enduring connection with service members throughout the military community. Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Sinise's dedication to our nation's active-duty service members, veterans, first-responders and their families who sacrificed alongside them, became a tireless crusade of support and gratitude for all those who protect our freedom and serve our country.

In 2011, to expand upon his individual efforts, he established the Gary Sinise Foundation with the mission to "always do a little more" for our those who serve. Its programs—designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities—serve America's heroes and their loved ones 365 days a year. Learn more: