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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The Wonders of Liberty Memorial
When asked what I wanted to do for my birthday, I said I’d like to visit the National WWI Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri. Now that might not be an exciting birthday trip for some people, but I had wanted to visit for a number of years and had heard many wonderful reports about the museum and I heartily agree.
While writing A Bond Never Broken, I studied 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 of the pictures, but that’s impossible, so here are just a few.
This is a blanket of service stars made by Mary Radler of Kansas City. These, and other similar blankets, revealed the strong patriotic feelings of the time.
This is a bag for knitting supplies. Soon after America's involvement in the war, President Wilson requested the American Red Cross create an avenue for young people to volunteer.This led to the creation of the Junior Red Cross and this bag belonged to a young girl named Florence.
This exhibit is another that took my breath away and another picture that doesn't do the exhibit justice. However, seeing the reflection of the soldiers on the wall brought me to tears.
You should be able to click and enlarge the picture sot that you can read some of the contributions women made at the front by women during WWI.