Remembering World War I

The National World War I Museum and Liberty Memorial in Kansas City.
(Photo by Seth Tupper)

I had the opportunity yesterday to write a story about the efforts to establish a national memorial for World War I veterans. My story, published today, focuses mainly on the effort of South Dakota Sen. John Thune and the World War I Memorial Foundation to convert an existing D.C. memorial into a national memorial.

There’s also an effort to get the Liberty Memorial at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City designated as the nation’s World War I memorial.

I actually visited the Kansas City memorial and museum two summers ago. My wife purchased tickets to two Twins vs. Royals games in Kansas City for my birthday, and both were night games. That meant we had time during our second day in Kansas City to explore the downtown area.

We were drawn by curiosity to a Washington-monument-like memorial on top of a hill at the edge of downtown. When we got close to it, we saw that it was a memorial to World War I veterans. When we got to the top of the hill, we were very surprised to see that the National World War I Museum was built into the hill’s other side. We had no idea that the museum existed, but we arrived about 45 minutes before closing time and decided to go in. Immediately inside the museum, there’s a theater where a video about the war is played. The rest of the museum consists of fascinating examples of uniforms, weapons and other artifacts from the war. If you’re ever in Kansas City and have the time, I highly recommend a visit to the museum.

The view of downtown Kansas City from the base of the Liberty Memorial.
(Photo by Seth Tupper)

5 thoughts on “Remembering World War I

  1. The “war to end all wars” should have a national monument even though we are too late to honor any of the living WW I vets. Sean Flynn led a series of discussions about WW I several years ago at DWU, that was very interesting. I don’t like war either by the way.

  2. Thune’s idea sounds good in theory but I can’t help but think he’s “leading the charge” on this now because he’s up for election in little less than a year. He’s been a senator since January 2005. One would think he maybe would have thought of this a few years ago.

  3. As far as I’m concerned there is already a National WWI muesem, the Memorial in Kansas City. Granted I’m a little biased about it since I’m from that area anyway. If you take the time to visit though, you’ll find the inscription of the speech given by the President at the time of dedication, and portrayals of the world leaders that were present when the monument was dedicated. As far as I’m concerned it doesn’t get much more official than that. If the feds want to worry over an, “official,” memorial, instead of spending money to build a whole new one, wh not just put some money into the one that already exists.
    It also has a very nice start to a brick layout honoring local men women who have served our military during war from the Civil War through today.

  4. remember the flack over France not supporting Bush in the Iraq war- in which case he said we ought to go over to Brittany (France) and dig up those servicemen and bring them home. In case you haven’t heard these fallen heroes have their cemeteries maintained by the French- their gesture of gratitude for us- I know my great uncle is buried over there and blah on you Billy Janklow you do not respect our veterans with reckless talk like that.

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