World War I Museum Finally Opens

America's official, congressionally-designated World War I museum finally opened on December 2, 2006, only 88 years and 21 days after World War I ended.

Just getting to the National World War I Museum might kill any surviving veterans of World War I, who would all be well over 100 by now. Rather than being built in a typical retirement area such as Florida or the Southwest, the National World War I Museum occupies a refurbished war memorial on a hilltop overlooking Kansas City, Missouri.

$26.5 million was spent on the National World War I Museum, which is being billed as the first in America to be devoted to the conflict. It was designed by the same guy who did the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Visitors enter on a glass bridge (slippery and dangerous for the elderly) over a field of 9,000 red silk poppies, each representing 1,000 World War I war deaths. Inside, in addition to the usual displays of arms and armaments, visitors can view reconstructions of French, English, and German trenches, plus a 100-foot recreation of "No Man's Land," the blasted terrain between the enemies' front lines.

The museum's collection is being touted as second in size only to that of the Imperial War Museum in London.


Liberty Memorial Tower

2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO
South side of downtown. Look for the concrete Liberty Memorial Tower. I-35 or I-70 to the Broadway exit. South on Broadway, then left on Pershing Road. Right on Kessler Road to the Liberty Memorial Tower and Museum.
Tu-Su 10-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $16.
RA Rates:
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