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Life and Liberty in Kansas City

By Linda Tancs

Designated by Congress as the United States’ official World War I Museum, the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri opened to the public in 2006. The Museum presents a comprehensive interpretation of World War I (1914-1919).  In poignant fashion, visitors cross a Western Front poppy field to enter the Museum. Each of the 9,000 poppies represents a thousand combatant deaths, or 9 million souls. In addition to gun and tank displays, the war is made palpable through the use of trenches with actual objects and relevant ambient sounds as well as a walk-through crater illustrating the devastating effects of a 17-inch howitzer shell on a French farmhouse. Combine these features with animated battle maps that draw the visitor into the planning and execution of the battles. A worthwhile visit–and active and career military are welcome free of charge.

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