Liberty Memorial officials are offering an appropriately solemn way to begin commemorating the 100th anniversary of the War to End All Wars.
At sunset Sunday, a lone bugler performed a playing of taps on the deck of the memorial for the war that started in 1914 and drew the United States into the battle in 1917. The evening taps will continue through Saturday.
The National World War I Museum at the memorial is a fitting location. It will remain open until 8:30 p.m. each day so visitors can enjoy the Kansas City treasure.
The ceremonies are designed to draw area residents together on the memorial grounds. A formal observance will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the memorial, with speakers and a performance by a string quartet from the Kansas City Symphony.
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The fighting during World War I took millions of lives and forever changed warfare, adding mechanized equipment that expanded the range and power of weapons. Some famous Kansas Citians emerged from that war, including Harry S. Truman, who became a commander of an artillery regiment in the 35th Division in France and later the 33rd president of the United States.
Humanity should have learned from World War I to avoid bloodshed and to resolve differences diplomatically. But nations haven’t progressed that far despite the loss of life and wars’ cost in trillions of dollars.