Branson, Missouri

We’ve enjoyed our stay at Musicland Kampground in the heart of Branson. The park has over 100 sites and although it’s densely packed, the elevation changes really hide most of the rigs from your view.

The park also can arrange seats at any of the dozens of shows Branson is so famous for. Yes, it’s a Disneyland type of tourist town…Las Vegas for families…but the entertainment is legit.

Yesterday we attended The Petersen Family Band. This musical family has had a steady run for over 8 years and was a joy to watch. The families 4 children (from 16 to early 30’s, are gifted instrumentalists and their vocal harmony is beautiful. Their bluegrass/country/gospel repertoire is extensive in both cover offerings as well as original songs. Best of all is the obvious love they have for each other, their music and their faith. Refreshing in today’s world.

https://youtu.be/BmqXgz6BmRM

You may remember Ellen Peterson’s appearance on American Idol in 2015.

https://youtu.be/p7ezK1Ew7fI

Here’s a song from the group in yesterday’s performance.

https://youtu.be/W20SRl8fF8Q

National WWI Museum

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.E4A1A9B1-C2E3-4863-B15A-017D3E4D0A0E

Moving Into The Plains

It didn’t take long after leaving Colorado Springs heading east to see the flat land of the Plaines.6E55328D-DE73-4CBB-B1A0-63E3ECB686AEOur first overnight stop was Shady Grove Campground in Seibert, Colorado.  Simple, clean overnight.

Next day on to Ellis, Kansas.  The City’s Lakeview Campground was a wonderful 2 night stay even with cloudy skies and foggy overnights.B22FE69D-D228-4CA4-A2EF-744A937D6181

Ellis is a small town (population approximately 2,000) without much development but it has an interesting history dating back to the mid-1800’s as settlers moved west.   A highlight of this stay and a landmark in the history of Ellis is St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  This history, contained on the Church’s website, tells the story of the town and the Church’s role in its history.

History of St Marys Parish

We enjoyed Mass and could “feel” the community of Ellis through those in attendance.

Air Force Academy

The Colorado Springs area is rich in things to do and see.  The Air Force Academy was a highlight.

The most striking architecture on the campus is the 1962 Chapel.  This beautiful structure contains individual Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Buddhist chapels.

The campus provides tribute to the rich history of the Air Force.