In 1926, Kansas City dedicated the Liberty Memorial museum in commemoration of the Great War. Congress designated it as the country’s official WWI museum in 2004, and it was reopened two years later with an expanded, renovated facility that is thorough and breathtaking. The museum entrance is under the 217 foot memorial tower.
The entrance to the museum is a glass walkway over a field of 9,000 poppies, with each flower representing 1,000 combatant deaths.
The circular exhibit space starts with the origins of the war, and the first half of the circle captures the conflict before America entered the fight. There are incredible artifacts and life-size dioramas, and interactive exhibits to understand the history.
The first half of the story ends in a dramatic auditorium with screens showing a movie detailing the U.S. decision to enter the war.
The museum examines the home front as well as the battlefront, and details the peace process that sowed seeds for the conflict to continue in less than two decades.
The museum is in a park with a dramatic view into downtown Kansas City that is especially scenic at night when you can see the artificial flame atop the memorial.