The Kansas City Liberty Memorial Tower built to honor men and women who served in WWI reads, “In honor of those who served in the World War in defense of Liberty and our country”. It was not until 2014 that it was declared a National Memorial by President Barack Obama. In 2008 President Obama’s gave his second campaign in speech in Kansas City on the grounds of the Liberty Memorial and World War I Museum. Over 75,000 people were in attendance.
Designed by H. Van Buren Magonigle who was best known in the US for his memorials. Magonigle was also an author, sculpture, painter, designer and graphic designer. He also designed William McKinely’s tomb. The Liberty Memorial was opened in 1926, after three years of construction.
After WWI a group of prominent Kansas Citian’s conceptualized a memorial to honor the fallen. In less than one year over 2.5 million dollars in contributions were collected. Interestingly, many of the family names of those who spearheaded the process are the same that serve as philanthropists in today’s Kansas City. This fact serves as testimony to the legacy of generosity in Kansas City.
The Kansas City World War I Museum is the only National World War I Museum in the country. It serves as one in a list of many elements of Kansas City’s that brings us pride.
Photos by Ingrid Keizer