Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kansas City and Washington, D.C., battle over WWI memorial recognition

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Liberty Memorial is seeking official recognition.
  • Liberty Memorial is seeking official recognition.
The war is long over, but the battle might just be beginning. Reuters reports that Kansas City and Washington, D.C., are currently tussling over which city should have the "official" World War I memorial. This debate is not just semantics. The official title is seen as critical by Liberty Memorial officials because the museum is in the middle of a $5 million renovation project with the centennial of World War I just two years away.

Kansas City has history and the weight of Congress on its side. President Calvin Coolidge dedicated Liberty Memorial as the national memorial to WWI in 1926. And Congress designated the museum as the official museum in 2004.

Supporters of a national memorial in Washington, D.C., point to the D.C. War Memorial on the National Mall or suggest that Pershing Park adjacent to the White House could be developed as a co-national memorial alongside Liberty Memorial. U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver has been fighting since 2009 to pass legislation that would officially recognize the Kansas City site.

It would be nice if Congress could resolve this issue because memorials aren't something to be bickered over.

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