National World War I Museum and Memorial
The National WWI Museum and Memorial stands today as the largest and most comprehensive site dedicated to the memory of WWI service members in the United States of America. Its history begins just after the signing of the armistice in November of 1918 with the formation of the Liberty Memorial Association, a group dedicated to building a lasting and fitting memorial to commemorate the service and sacrifice of Missouri’s Veterans of the Great War. The association was comprised of forty of Kansas City’s most prominent citizens. On November 1, 1921, 200,000 people attended the groundbreaking ceremony, with some of the wars most prominent commanders in attendance from Italy, France, Great Britain, and Commander of the American Expeditionary Force, General John J. Pershing. In just two weeks they raised over two and a half million dollars for the site. President Calvin Coolidge spoke at the formal dedication held on November 11, 1926. The memorial has undergone a number of renovations and changes over the years, in 2004 was named the nations national WWI memorial, in 2006 was named a National Historic Landmark, and in 2014 was recognized as a national memorial and gives us the institution we know today as, the National World War I Museum and Memorial.