Kansas City…in the heartland of the US…from the Wizard of Oz…To Presidential Libraries…Jazz and the Blues….and BBQ, Who Knew?
Today we visited Kansas Cities #1 visitor attraction….the National WWI Museum and Memorial.
In 1919…just weeks after the end of WWI, more than 83,000 people in Kansas City contributed to a fund, raising $2.5 million in 10 days (more than $35 million in today’s dollars). In 1921 the site was dedicated and the facility opened in 1926 in front of a crowd of 150,000 people, including President Calvin Coolidge.
The Memorial originally consisted of the 217-foot-tall Liberty Memorial Tower and two Exhibit Halls.
In 1994 the Memorial closed due to structural deterioration of the Memorial courtyard. Once again the people of Kansas City voted to restore the Memorial and create a Museum to house not only their own extensive collection of artifacts but countless similiar collections that had waned in attendance as time passed from the end of WWI in 1918. Death of the Last Known WWI Veteran
This was an impressive museum. Our tour lasted 2 1/2 hours and covered much, but not all of the history and artifacts present. Tickets purchased are good for 2 days attendance and it’s clearly more than can be seen in one day.
Although I was marginally aware of what started the war (the assassination of Archduke Franzmeier Fernidad of Austria-Hungary), I had no understanding of how the transition from 19th century led to the top causes of WWI.
There’s a LOT to unpack here that is relevant to today!
I had not realized how late the US was enter into WWI. Although the war was principally a European conflict started in 1914, the US didn’t enter the war until April 1917 and the war officially ended November 1918. The war was essentially a stalemate prior to the US entry and it was the entry of the additional US troops that hastened the end. Not only did it impact the role of the US in world affairs, it also had a significant impact on the economy and military-industrial growth of the country….to this very day!
The saddest part of this story was the human toll the war took…and that was before we consider the weapons and technology of death the world possesses today. Take time to reflect…and pray…that this “progress” is history…and not our future.