Yes, it’s four days after the Day itself, but any day can be a day of remembrance.

I have taken to spending at least part of the Day at the National World War I Museum and Memorial–probably no surprise to those who have read this blog faithfully (and we do hope there are at least a few of you out there.) It really is an excellent place to spend Memorial Day, with a ceremony in the morning, and another in the afternoon to dedicate the memorial bricks that have been added since Veterans’ Day last year.

At the same time, this year one could view the outdoor photographic exhibit of Michael St. Maur Sheil, showing images of the battlefields today; “Revolutions!,” which shows off once again the amazing collections of the Museum while focusing on the year 1917; and “Vive l’Amerique,” drawings done by French students in Paris, reflecting their thoughts on the war.

If you missed the program, you can watch the ceremony here:  .  If you want just a short summary, here’s the account from the Kansas City Star:

The dedication of the bricks is always an interesting ceremony.  Photos may be submitted of the person being honored, which gives us  faces to go with the names.  This year, I believe I saw one name where the photo provided a bit of a surprise.  The honoree was seen standing with other men, all looking like they were enjoying a refreshing adult beverage.  They appeared to be wearing the uniform of the Kaiser’s army.

I’d not seen that in previous ceremonies, but it seems appropriate that they, too, should be remembered there at Kansas City.  I have hoped that perhaps someone would submit to this blog a story of an ancestor who fought in a different army than Uncle Sam’s doughboys.  I suspect somewhere in Kansas, one could find a person whose ancestor was a tommie, or a poilu . . . or fought for Germany or Russia, or any of the many countries that eventually became involved in the Great War.  Any one?

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.