When visitors ask what they should see when visiting Kansas City, I always suggest the National WWI Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri. I still recall my first visit. The visit was a request for my birthday before I lived in Kansas City. Now that might not sound exciting for some people, but I had wanted to visit for several years, and had heard many wonderful reports about the museum. The museum didn’t disappoint.
While writing A Bond Never Broken, one of the books in my Amana series, I studied the history of America’s involvement in the war effort, but I must admit that my knowledge of World War I was limited. In fact, it still is, but my visit to the museum greatly expanded my knowledge.
Walking toward the museum, you can’t miss the Liberty Memorial Tower that rises above the surrounding observation deck. Near the top of the tower are carved statues of four stone guardian spirits. Sculpted by Robert Aitken, they represent Honor, Courage, Patriotism, and Sacrifice. The two gigantic stone sphinxes adorn the Liberty Hall Deck.
The sphinx known as “Memory” faces the East with wings shielding its face from the horrors of the European battlefields. “Future” faces the West with wings shrouding its face to symbolize the future which is yet unseen.
On the observation deck there are two additional exhibit halls and a beautiful view of Kansas City. In addition, you can ride an elevator to the top of the memorial tower for an even better view! Fortunately, it wasn’t too cold the day we were there, so we enjoyed going up and taking in the view.
I am a visual type and was deeply impacted as we entered into the museum to begin our tour of the galleries. Each person crosses over a glass walkway that spans a field of 9,000 red poppies—one poppy for every 1,000 men who died. Although my picture doesn’t do it justice, it is a beautiful memorial statement to those who gave their lives during the Great War. There were so many things to see and I’d love to share all the pictures, but that’s impossible, so I’ve included only a few. If you visit Kansas City, be sure to stop and visit the museum.