The Liberty Memorial was planned and funded in just 10 days in 1919, a remarkable achievement that indicates the public sentiment towards those who lost their lives. The building was completed in 1926 and has since been restored and expanded to include a world-class museum and exhibition center. A visit to the war memorial is one that will touch your heart and expand your mind.
Before or after your visit, be sure to wander along the pathways in front of the memorial to appreciate its size and emotional power. When the memorial opened, more than 150,000 people viewed the opening from the surrounding lawns.
Beneath the memorial is the National World War I Museum, an 80,000-square-foot (7,400-square-meter) complex. The museum traces the events of the entire war, not just the history of the American involvement. Collections include personal artifacts from frontline soldiers, military vehicles, and nationally important documents and letters. The museum has been praised for its in-depth coverage of all sides of the war, which makes it as accessible for international guests as it is for American visitors.
The museum is informative, with numerous multimedia displays that help to show the perils of war. Rent the audio guide to get even more insight into the displays. Life-size trenches, a walk-through bomb crater and a destroyed tank make for an engrossing visit. Admission to the museum also allows you to climb to the top of the memorial for a view out over the grounds and the greater Kansas City area.
The Liberty Memorial is located off Main Street, Kansas City, across from the Crown Center. On-site parking is free. Admission includes a two-day pass and is very reasonable for the quality of the museum. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday.