Day 37 – (October 11) – Kansas City

Our wonderful hosts provided homemade pumpkin muffins and fruit for breakfast and shortly after we were taken on a tour of Kansas City. The day started out a little foggy, but we pressed on, nonetheless. They gave us a tour of the “back roads” into the city and of the “Plaza area” that was constructed to be a look alike to a sister city in Spain. There were numerous fountains and sculptures, as well as tile mosaics and flowering baskets everywhere. Truly lovely.

Our destination was the National World War One Memorial and Museum. It is housed on a large park-like field with a tower that reaches (as I’m remembering) about 237 feet into the sky. It is quite impressive.

I know very little about the First World War, so almost everything in the museum was an interesting item or fact. As we watched the introductory film the narrator said there were so many disagreements and conflicts between nations before the war that there was no ONE reason for the start of the war, and perhaps that was the reason war broke out. This whole concept fascinated me in light of the conflicts and disagreements we seem to be experiencing today in our country.

The museum held numerous artifacts that seemed to be in pristine condition. The displays were evocative and moving. There was a sound booth where I listened to a dramatic reading of “In Flanders Field,” and a section of “All Quiet on the Western Front,” as well as a recording of “Over There” from the original period recording. The experience was very moving. There were sounds and flashes and “readings” from letters home throughout the displays. The place was packed full of things to read and see and hear that helped to explain and describe the awful experience of that war.

When we were done with the exhibits, we passed the Canteen where we were invited to “eat like they did in the trenches.” It smelled so wonderful, we were lured in. The signature items were “Creamed chipped beef on toast;” “Trench stew;” and “Goulash.” Served on Army tin plates we ate under the flags of the nations of the world. Amazingly, for museum fare, it was quite good. I broke camp and ordered the Ruben sandwich, made with the same corned beef as the others items. I think it was the best Ruben sandwich I’ve ever eaten!

Having fortified ourselves, we went outside to the exterior exhibits and traveled up to the top of the obelisk overlooking Kansas City. The day had miraculously turned sunny and warmer and we had an extraordinary view of the city and beyond.

Returning to Lee’s Summit during rush hour, we were all happy to enjoy the comforts of home again and relax after a day of walking and sightseeing. Our cousin grilled hamburgers and we had a fun evening of talking and telling family stories while we looked at pictures and read about our ancestors from history books our cousin has collected.