We were on our own Tuesday afternoon, so we decided to do a little sight-seeing in downtown Kansas City. We had heard that the WW1 Museum was really nice, so we decided to check it out.
This is the only museum in the country dedicated to WW1, and it’s really nice. We watched the introductory movie that set the stage for why the war happened, and then we walked through the two rooms of artifacts.
The museum is divided into 2 rooms – the first covers the first 3 years of the war, prior to the US entering into the conflict,
and the second covers the US involvement in the war.
The museum was very interesting and informative, and it tied in nicely to some of the history that Nicolas has studied, and that Bryce will be studying this year.
From the museum, we went up to the upper deck to tour the tower.
The Tower was constructed in 1926, and renovated in 2002. There is an elevator inside the tower that takes you up 217 feet to the observation platform at the top.
On either side of the Memorial Tower are two sphinxes, each with its eyes shielded – ‘Memory’ faces east, with its wings shielding its face from the horrors of the European battlefields, and ‘Future’ faces west, with wings shrouding its face to symbolize the future which is yet unseen.
From the observation platform we could see Liberty Park below us,
as well as a fantastic view of downtown Kansas City.
There are two additional buildings on the upper deck – Memory Hall, which contains the Pantheon de la Guerre, and Exhibit Hall.
The Pantheon is a monumental work of art by French artists, which showcased the heroic deeds of the Allies. It was on display in France, and then brought to the US for the Chicago Exposition in 1933. Afterward, it was forgotten in a warehouse, and never returned to France.
Portions of the artwork were converted to murals for the buildings at the Liberty Memorial, with the Allies section in Memory Hall, and the sections of French soldiers in the Exhibit Hall.
The Exhibit Hall is home to travelling exhibits, and the current one highlights the culture leading up to the war in the countries that were involved, including many military uniforms,
and a display of flags from each country that was in WW1.
We enjoyed our visit to the Museum and Memorial, and were glad we took the time to go downtown for a little sight-seeing!