Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Harry Truman Presidential Library and the WWI Museum

Our activities in Independence didn't take as long as I expected, so we added something else in at the last minute: The Harry Truman Presidential Library.  It was an excellent choice!

The Oval Office, as it looked during the presidency of Harry Truman.
 I think we only had a couple of hours, but it was well worth the time.  There was a lot of information about the end of WWII, the atomic bombs, and post-war recovery with a president who never planned on being president.  Those are the best kind, I think.  


Our hotel (Higher Ground Hotel--highly recommended for its huge family suite!) was right across the street from Harry Truman's home.  I had no idea until we arrived!  


That evening, I was doing laundry in the basement of the hotel when a Corvette club arrived.  One of the couples came down to do laundry and we got to chatting.  They had gone to a WWI museum and went on and on about it.  Well, I was tired and just didn't think we could fit in one more thing.  I didn't even think of mentioning it to my family.

When I arrived in the hotel room bearing stacks of freshly laundered clothing, Isaac came to me, phone in hand.  
"Are we going to the WWI museum tomorrow?" he asked excitedly.  
"Ummm . . . ," I faltered.
"Because I really want to!"

Now, when a kid gets excited about a museum, you move mountains to accommodate.  I checked times of the places on our schedule and driving distances and, sure enough, we could make it work.
So.
We went to the World War I Museum in Kansas City.



What a happy accident! 
(Not the war, just the finding of the museum and the ability of our schedule to be a bit flexible.)

Very cool entrance, a glass bridge over a field of poppies.

Money from all over the world from the period.
  It was excellent.  It did so much to help explain an often confusing war.  I was fascinated by the explanations of the start of the war, since the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand and the ensuing implosion of treaties never made a sufficient argument for me.


There were two incredibly helpful movies, the second one having this elaborate three dimensional set.


Sweet sleeping girl.
 The displays were thoughtfully edited.
A case of the flags hung in the windows by soldier parents especially touched my mother heart.


Typical treasures of a soldier's pocket.
 One of the more poignant exhibits was a replica of a bomb crater.  The personal belongings of civilians (innocents) lay scattered hither and thither; belongings of people like me, with children like mine.


At the end, we got to ride up to the top of that tower in an elevator.


Man, oh, man.  Five stars!

I cannot believe the variety of educational opportunities this trip provided.


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