The museum is located on the 26-acre (11-hectare) site of the Liberty Memorial. The obelisk homage to soldiers of the First World War was completed in 1926 after
That was then.
Decades and a few major wars and monuments later, the towering 217-foot (66-meter) Liberty Memorial, neglected and deteriorating, was closed in 1994. But in 1998,
"This museum is a result of the action of the citizenry," said
The museum, designated a national site by
The museum, located south of downtown and funded largely by private donations, admission fees and the city, has garnered considerable praise, including from
"Its narrative is international; the broad range of objects on display are compelling; and the personal stories they tell brings the people who lived, endured, served and died during the war a century ago, to life," Lees said in an email.
While most of the visitors are from the U.S., many are from countries where the war was fought and appear to know more details about the war than Americans, Vietti said. The centennial may change that.
"What we would anticipate and hope to see is that the centennial commemoration during the next five plus years provides an opportunity not only for Americans, but really the entire world to review and examine World War I and how events that took place during the first global conflict in human history continue to affect everybody to this very day," Vietti said.
Visitors may be disappointed if they expect a single, U.S.-based approach to the story of the war. "One of the criticisms of us is that we're impartial," Naylor said. "What we seek to do is report a complicated story that in a way encourages people to examine the issues."
The museum, which also includes a research center, two theaters, exhibitions and artifacts such as a Renault FT-17 tank and a replica of No Man's Land, is hosting a series of events, discussions and exhibits to highlight each year of the war, as well as the 1919 peace process. One event this year, "Taps at the Tower," has buglers playing taps at dusk from
While the U.S. involvement in the First World War wasn't as lengthy as that of the other nations',
NATIONAL WORLD WAR I MUSEM AT LIBERTY MEMORIAL:
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