Kansas City Chosen to Host National World War I Centennial Commission

National Museum Spotlights 'Great War'

Yahoo Contributor Network

Lost in the fiscal cliff negotiations surrounding New Year's Day was big news for residents of Kansas City, Mo. The metropolitan area was chosen as the base of operations for "a commission to ensure a suitable observance of the centennial of World War I." House Resolution 6364, the World War I Centennial Commission Act, mandates members of the commission meet in the city's National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial.

When did the act pass Congress?

The Kansas City Star reports the amended bill passed the Senate unanimously Dec. 21. The House voted 401 to 5 on Monday to approve the measure. President Barack Obama then signs the bill to establish the midwestern city as the commission's base.

Why was Kansas City chosen?

The city already hosts the country's most comprehensive museum devoted to World War I, a conflict from 1914 to 1918. The National World War I Museum bills itself as "the only American museum solely dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of a war whose impact still echoes in our world today."

What does Congress say about the commission?

The bill requires 12 members sit on the body. Six appointees come from the leaders of both chambers of Congress. Three people are appointed by the president of the United States, another from the executive director of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), one by the American Legion and finally another representative from the Liberty Memorial Association in Kansas City. Everyone must be approved within 60 days of the act becoming law. The first meeting happens within 30 days of the members being chosen. At least one gathering per year must be in Kansas City at the National World War I Museum.

What have prominent leaders said about Kansas City's role in the World War I commission?

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., remarked, "The hardworking folks at the memorial will ensure this commission is a productive group that proudly provides for a nationwide commemoration of the centennial of the 'Great War.'"

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said in a statement, "Missourians are deeply proud of our World War I heroes, and it is only fitting to make the site of America's World War I Museum the home base for the Centennial celebration."

Mary Davidson Cohen, interim president of the Liberty Memorial, told the Star, "We hope to inspire citizens throughout the nation to learn more about the Great War and discover ways they can honor the past."

Where is the National World War I Museum located?

The Liberty Memorial is part of a vast park just east of Exit 1 off of Interstate 35 south of downtown. The park, museum and memorial are just west of the famed Crown Center and just south of Union Station. The monument features a stone tower several stories tall at the center of the memorial.

William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.

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