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National World War I Museum


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This particular tank was hit and disabled by a German shell. Highly unusual for a museum display, parts of the shell and the resulting internal fragments have been preserved and are also on display.




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Another outstanding feature of this museum is the displays dedicated to the women who also served in France supporting the American Army.


This one is about the signal workers of the YMCA.





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Of course, the story would not be complete without covering the Home Front as well...






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But the cost was great... with over 400 dead from Kansas City alone...


Money was raised, dignataries gathered, and in 1926, the Liberty Memorial was raised to remember the fallen.




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The story of the Liberty Memorial itself is fascinating, and beyond what I will cover here. Like all monuments it had its high points as well as years of gentle neglect.


But today the 217 foot tower, the exhibit and memorial halls, and of course the museum below it have all been restored. The tower features an elevator which takes you within 45 steps to the top, with a sweeping view of Kansas City. Immediately below is the Central Station, where thousands of Midwest troops departed for the Great War.




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The National World War I Museum has brought to life a period of our history that was vibrant, full of sound and color, and the dedication of those who lived through it. It has taken an era which could have fallen through the cracks as a "forgotten war" and conveyed drama and the terror of it.


I close with a state of the art display found in modern museums... the Portrait Wall. In the main corridor outside of the display areas are three projection screens along with a touch-screen control pad. The visitor is presented with successive portraits of the men and women, most of them young and full of vigor who fought the war. It is like paging through a family album... These are not small, faded, dusty photos drying to dust... these are projections that bring these people back to our immediate view.


In some ways, it's one of the best, and most intriguing features of the museum...










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In a quiet corner of the museum, there hangs this photo without caption.


It is Cpl. Frank Buckles, the last surviving US World War I veteran, sitting in the midst of the American displays.


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I hope you have enjoyed this quick look at this special museum, and hope you have the chance to visit on your own. This is only selection of what it has to offer. It is worth the trip.


For more information, please see their website:




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Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to post this topic.


That is quite the museum

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The Central Powers greatly underestimated the industrial potential of the United States, both in supplying itself and the Allies. Exhibits discuss the role of wartime production. These numbers here are just for the American Army.


As an example, a bayonet scabbard still in its original wrapper, next to one in pristine condition.

Another place I need to visit. Just a note- It is a late war M1917 Bolo Scabbard.

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What a magnificent collection of artefacts, superbly displayed! Thanks for the virtual tour!


Sabrejet :thumbsup:

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Gil, Thanks very much for posting this with such care and well written narrative. I visited there a few times when stationed at Leavenworth, and you're right that it suffered from gentle neglect. It is very inspiring that this great museum has been resurrected and has evolved into such a great place as you've shown.

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Gil - Top of my list of places to visit before "going west". Thank you for the outstanding tour. Wonderful pics & info. :twothumbup:

Semper Fi.....Bobgee

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Thanks guys. I was really blown away by the museum on my first trip. Unfortunately my camera died in the before I'd gotten even half a dozen photos. It took awhile to get back there, but it was equally impressive the second time around.


Note to photographers:


The museum is a very dramatic combination of light and shadows. Unfortunately, this plays havoc with photography.


You will notice that very few of the cased items are shot directly. This was because I had to shoot at an angle to reduce the reflections from the lit portions of the displays.


The items in the display cases were in a muted light, no doubt to aid in their preservation. I really do not believe in using flash photography on museum artifacts, as overtime it will fade printed material and even cloth items.


So without a flash, the best I could do was set my little point and shoot Panasonic and my back up Canon for "simple" and hope for the best. The photos all turned out dark, but the miracle of Photoshop made most of them usable.


But as you will see on the attached example, the glare made some shots just impossible. (Or artistic, if you like the image of doughboys superimposed on the welcome home banner... take your pick!)


By the way, if you read the website, the museum is sponsoring a photo contest over the summer.


Thanks again for all the kind comments. For those that come out this way, this really is a gem worth seeing.


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I drove by this museum not long ago and if I didnt have a 10 hour drive ahead I'd have gone back in. I spent an afternoon there last summer. It's pretty amazing and the design is very cool. The history of the memorials dedication is pretty cool also.


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Spent about 6 hours in it a couple of years ago. The author of this topic is correct. You could spends days talking about what they have in store for people to see.

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