NC honors 85,000 World War I soldiers with ceremony, museum exhibit

Dignitaries cut the ribbon for the World War I exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History. Photo by David Grzybowski/CBS North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — This weekend North Carolina honored the legacy of 85,000 soldiers from the state who fought in World War I.

“What we have to remember is the sacrifice that these men and woman who were there and who were here. The sacrifice they have given for our freedom,” Governor Roy Cooper said at Saturday’s wreath-laying ceremony at the state capitol.

Members of the North Carolina National Guard Band and World War I reenactors participated in Saturday’s services.

“I think it was a very honorable ceremony. I enjoyed seeing the reenactors. It’s a very important time as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I,” said Elree Smith, a member of North Carolina Veterans of Foreign Wars.

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Following the ceremony, the North Carolina Museum of History opened its World War I exhibit. The new space has more than 500 artifacts and is the largest exhibit at the museum.

“The one thing about this exhibit is that it is very large. It’s a 6,500 square-foot exhibit. It’s not like other exhibits we have done in the past where there is just artifacts, cases and labels on walls. This is an experience,” said Jackson Marshall said, deputy director of the North Carolina Museum of History.

The new exhibit will remain open until January 2019.

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