National World War I Museum
Upon entering the National World War I Museum, visitors walk across a glass bridge over a field of poppies into the Orientation Theater. World on the Edge introduces visitors to the convergence of forces that unleashed the Great War. Leading World War I historian John Keegan cites the film as the best existing dramatic portrayal of the causes of this cataclysmic event. Gallery videos illuminate specific facets of the story; audio experiences bring the soldiers’ experiences to life in recreated battlefield environments; and audio stations offer opportunities to “listen in” to poetry, spoken word, and music of the period. Midway through the chronological flow of exhibits, visitors step onto a mezzanine that overlooks Horizon Theater, a 100-foot long full-scale World War I tableau activated by a video projection, theatrical lighting, scenic effects, and an immersive soundtrack. As they witness this sweeping and evolving story, visitors experience the turning-point moment when the United States decided to enter World War I. The show portrays the devastating stalemate along the 200-mile Western Front that locked Europe in deadly combat for years, as well as the factors that led to America’s involvement in a war that would dramatically change the country’s direction from that point forward.