As World War One centennial nears, fight erupts over memorial
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - Back in 1926, nobody balked when President Calvin Coolidge dedicated Kansas City's towering Liberty Memorial as the national memorial to the First World War.
But as the 100th anniversary of the beginning of "the Great War" approaches in 2014, a tussle has broken out between Kansas City and Washington, D.C. over which city should be the site of the nation's "official" World War One memorial.
In 2004, Congress voted to designate the Kansas City memorial as the official museum, but late last year support emerged for having the memorial on the National Mall in the nation's capital.
A bill designating both locations as national memorials has also stalled, delaying fundraising for the U.S. observation of the approaching centennial....
"It's very frustrating for us," said Brian Alexander, president and chief executive of Kansas City's National World War I Museum, which adjoins the Liberty Memorial.
"Our goal is to be recognized as the national memorial because to a large extent we have been the defacto national memorial since the 1920s," Alexander said.
At stake for Kansas City is prestige, recognition and national distinction as well as a powerful draw for generations of visitors. Nearly $5 million is being spent to spiff up the Liberty Memorial in time for the anniversary.
The stone, cylindrical memorial rises 217 feet atop a hill overlooking Kansas City, and has an observation deck on top.
An argument favoring Kansas City as the site for the national memorial is the museum, which houses the largest American collection of artifacts from the war.
"It's all right here," Alexander said....
comments powered by Disqus
- Sephardic Jews Feel Bigotry’s Sting in Turkey and a Pull Back to Spain
- Yemen museum destroyed
- Viking beaters: Scots and Irish may have settled Iceland a century before Norsemen
- Secret diary of a top Soviet official shows the leadership was in turmoil 15 years before the USSR’s demise
- New History Dispute Splits U.S. Allies in Asia
- NYT hosts debate including Eric Foner: How Americans should remember Reconstruction
- William Leuchtenburg says historians and the media have been too hard on Obama
- Hugh Ambrose, historian who helped develop WWII Museum, dead at 48
- Historian discounts claim that Churchill and other British PM's were gay
- Nick Bunker Wins $50,000 2015 George Washington Book Prize