WASHINGTON – Missouri’s U.S. Senators McCaskill and Blunt today announced that they have successfully included a provision in this year’s annual defense bill that designates Kansas City’s Liberty Memorial as the nation’s “World War I Museum and Memorial.”
“This designation honors the courage and sacrifice of all those who served in World War I,” said McCaskill, who is the daughter of a WWII veteran. “It was an honor to work with Senator Blunt to get this done. And it’s my hope that the Liberty Memorial’s new, national status—which finally matches its national significance—shines a spotlight on the site’s unique and extraordinary historic value.”
“Missourians are deeply proud of our World War I heroes, and America's National World War I Museum at the Liberty Memorial is the only museum in the United States that is dedicated to honoring these heroes and telling the important story of this war,” said Blunt. “I’m very pleased that with the passage of this important bill, the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City will get the recognition it deserves nationwide.”
Both Senators are members of the Armed Services Committee.
This provision—which adds to the Museum’s 2004 designation as “America’s National WWI Museum”— increases the historic significance of the Liberty Memorial, elevating its status in the same vein as other nationally recognized sites such as the National WWII Memorial. Additionally, the bill establishes a WWI Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C. and authorizes the World War I Centennial Commission to improve the site and develop and build additional commemorative elements.
The World War I Museum and Memorial contains the world’s most diverse collection of WWI objects. In 2014, the museum ranked as one of the top 25 museums in the United States according to TripAdvisor, and was recently recognized by USA Today as one of the top 10 museums that “bring military history to life.”