Why Kansas City?In a recent letter to the editor following Allen C. Guelzo’s informative piece “The Great War’s Great Price” (November 12), Colin Calhoon pointed out that a memorial does exist in Washington, D.C., honoring District of Columbia residents who bravely served during the war. In his response, Mr. Guelzo commented that a national World War I memorial also “oddly” exists in Kansas City, Mo. To briefly shed light on this fact: The National World War I Museum and Memorial is located in Kansas City because the citizens of this region possessed the willingness to build it.
Why Kansas City?
Shortly after the Great War’s conclusion, residents made a commitment to build a museum and memorial to those who served — similarly to residents in thousands of cities and towns across the world. In this case, the difference was that in a span of ten days, more than 83,000 residents contributed to a fund totaling about $2.5 million (more than $35 million today). Following two years of construction, in 1926, President Calvin Coolidge addressed a crowd of more than 150,000 people at the opening ceremony of this majestic museum and memorial.
Since then, the National World War I Museum and Memorial has amassed the most comprehensive World War I collection in the world and has been designated by Congress as the official U.S. World War I museum and memorial. A self-sustaining nonprofit organization that receives no federal funding, the museum and memorial annually welcomes more than 500,000 people from all 50 states and more than 80 nations in its mission to remember, interpret, and understand the Great War and its enduring impact.
President and Chief Executive Officer
National World War I Museum and Memorial
Kansas City, Mo.
via Letters | National Review.