Please join us at the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka on Friday, October 14, for our next talk in the “Museum After Hours” series.  This month Jim Heiman from Metropolitan Community College, Independence, Missouri, will speak on “World War I Memorials and Monuments.”  The program starts at 6:30 p.m.

By the very nature of war, the first rituals for Kansas City area soldiers killed in combat were conducted locally in public ceremonies before they could ever be recognized in private services.  But even when the bodies of the dead were disinterred from the battlefields and cemeteries in France and brought back to Kansas City, private services soon gave way to public pilgrimages as semi-annual observances at the cemeteries began to include public monuments and memorials outside of the cemeteries. This presentation examines how Kansas City area war memorials at prominent places in both the Kansas and Missouri sides of the city became part of the public pilgrimages that ritualized war remembrance as private grief became public mourning.

Jim is the author of Voices in Bronze and Stone:  Kansas City’s World War I Monuments and Memorials.

Blair Tarr is the Museum Curator of the Kansas State Historical Society. He oversees the three-dimensional collections of the Society, but has special interests in the Civil War, Wichita-made Valentine diners, and Leavenworth's Abernathy Furniture. In the last few years he has also done a lot of cramming on The Great War. He is a past president of the Kansas Museums Association and the Civil War Round Tables of both Kansas City and Eastern Kansas. He is currently a board member of the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City.