Friday, February 19, 2016

Today, in keeping with my intention to be a tourist in my hometown
I visited 

Known locally as the Liberty Memorial.
I don't know much about World War I - or rather I didn't as I learned quite a bit today.
I will never be an expert but at least I know more than I did.
I was most impressed that they didn't just report the US story but made a real effort to tell the whole story.
Panels told the story by main events each month through the years of the war.  Panels like 
this one

I picked this one specially as the photo of all the smiling lads was of the Anzacs when they arrived in Paris.  They had previously been mentioned in Galliopli and as having escorted merchant ships.
After Paris they were swallowed by the British forces.
But this is what I mean about telling the whole story.
They have lots of "Stuff" aka artifacts.  Guns, artillery pieces, knives, grenades, even two planes!  There are uniforms and more uniforms, and more uniforms!  There is a life-size trench that runs the length of one exhibit hall!
Exhibits on the US home front included this
 The blue stars are for those serving and there are names in all the white spaces.
It is extremely threadbare, almost as if it is made of silk and the silk shattered.
The most heart-wrenching part is the entrance/exit. 
 A glass bridge over a field of poppies.

When you are in Kansas City I would highly recommend a visit here, it is well worth the time.

1 comment:

a good yarn said...

I'm very appreciative that your memorial recognises the contribution of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. They were a division of the British army under whose high command they were directed. The whole disastrous Gallipoli campaign was devised by Winston Churchill. The Battle of Chunuk Bair, a New Zealand offensive is one of the most devastating yet extraordinary episodes of WWI. Although Gallipoli was a military defeat, the Aussies and NZers were evacuated from the peninsula without loss of life. Before leaving to join this war, Australians considered themselves to be British citizens living overseas but on Gaillipolli, the Western Front and North Africa they developed a sense of identify different to that of Tommy their English counterpart. They realised that they weren't like him, not so accepting and were notorious for their lack of discipline (refusing to follow the orders of British officers) and other questionable behaviours - among them thieving and rabble rousing. It took some time to wrest control of our own forces from the British and install Australian troops under our own command structure but once we did the tide began to turn. John Monash, a civil engineer, was the first man to plan, prepare and coordinate attacks on the enemy and it was the Aussies whose successful tactics and campaigns helped to shorten the war. After the war Australain soldiers raised funds for the establishment and rebuilding of schools where even today French children since Australain songs and honour the Austrailian soldiers who liberated their towns and villages all those years ago. The tend the graves of the fallen and never forget. Neither should we.