Poppy illumination at Liberty Memorial gives visitors a unique reflection on WWI

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

A field of poppies lit up the World War I Museum on the last night of it’s memorable display as the world pauses to remember the war’s somber anniversary. People of all ages came out to reflect on the millions of lives lost 100 years ago. A sight many said is unlike they’ve ever seen before.

“It was just, I don’t even know how you can – just very awestruck. Very amazing,” Molly Scharig of Lone Jack, Missouri said.

“Very emotional, I mean, I teared up,” Lynn Kelly of KCMO said. “It was beautiful. It was beautiful.”

Liberty Memorial was lit up with 5,000 poppies to remember the 9 million American soldiers lives lost on the battlefield in the first world war.

“It’s powerful to see so many people here in Kansas City, and from outside of Kansas City coming to remember this on Armistice Day, on Veterans Day, is just really powerful,” Jessica Hill, a history teacher at Lee’s Summit West High School said.

Hall says she comes to see the memorial each year on the anniversary of the armistice, but this year is very different.

“It’s just cool that we have this here, and that people are coming from all over the nation to see this, and put Kansas City on the map where it should be,” Hall said. “I think it means a lot for their families who are able to come and see it.”

“In WWI We also lost my grandpa too over there. He never did make it back home, so he`s still buried over there,” said Larry Stewart, a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam.

He brought his wife and grandchildren to see the memorial, and hopes it resonates with them as well.

“When I’m looking at that wall, and everything, it`s the blood that I’m seeing there in the red. It brings tears to my eyes a lot of times when I see that because just thinking of the people we lost right there, but it’s just lovely,” Stewart said.

While he knows it may not hold the same memories for others, he hopes it will help people remember what was, and can be lost.

“In their hearts, I hope they take away and remember how many thousands and thousands of people we’ve lost over the years, and I don’t think we want to lose any more,” Stewart said.

“I hope that people don’t just see it as pretty lights, like my daughter did, I hope they see it for what it really is,” Hall said. “20 million people lost their lives in this war, and let’s hope that it`s not for nothing. Let’s hope that it changes the world like it should, and we remember it always.”

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