The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City is an impressive place for learning. It’s location at the top of the city as a beacon of remembrance amongst the skyline has stayed with this great Midwestern community since it first opened in 1926. In 2006 the National World War I Museum opened inside the Liberty Memorial.
The story told here begins with a glass bridge that spans hundreds of poppies, the symbol of veterans from the war. A video overview explaining the complex pressures building in Europe provides a deeper understanding of the how and why.
There are three following sections. The first includes a massive timeline that looks at actions and quotes around the war, with historical points that align for events taking place outside of the war in other parts of the world. Section one deals with Europe, the armaments, supplies and efforts that it took to fight. The second area is a combination of video and movement that explains why the US became involved in the war effort. The third section is similar to the first, but focuses only on the US involvement.
One of the stories that I appreciated most during my visit here was the expression of nationalism, isolationism, and globalism. The impact of the industrial revolution on empirical rule, societies hungry for colonialism and goods, and the importance of capitalism to provide swift and scalable support was another great insight.
I highly recommend a half-day here. The perspective this museum provides for understanding the 20th century, and the decisions made during and following it can be traced back to much of what is covered here.