Editorials

Editorial: Dear Mr. President, your invitation to Kansas City awaits

Liberty Memorial is just one of the sights President Donald Trump should see in Kansas City.
Liberty Memorial is just one of the sights President Donald Trump should see in Kansas City. tljungblad@kcstar.com

Dear Mr. President,

You are cordially invited to attend the World War I Centennial observance on April 6 in Kansas City.

We’d love to show you around, and a visit to the area could be a crucial part of your ongoing education as our nation’s 45th president.

The day is expected to draw heads of state from around the globe. Think of the photo ops.

Besides, we’re a gem of a city, a gold mine of interesting places that could inform your views on immigration, infrastructure, trade agreements and more.

Here’s a preview of what we have to offer:

When you arrive on Air Force One, you’ll likely land at our smaller downtown airport. As you head toward the Liberty Memorial, your motorcade will zip across what we now call the Buck O’Neil Bridge, recently renamed after the late Negro Leagues player and MLB coach who was an extraordinarily genial Kansas Citian. Wish you could have met him.

But the more than 60-year-old bridge is in need of massive repairs, at least $40 million worth by state estimates. We’re considering imploding the whole thing, as gravity and corrosion take their toll. It’s an important connector. But note that it’s just one sagging bridge among many, as evidenced by the D+ recently given to the nation’s infrastructure by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

You’ll want to visit the dedicated people at Jewish Vocational Services. The nonprofit is among the agencies managing the resettlement of refugees joining our community: people from Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, the Sudan and yes, Syria.

Drop by Garmin Ltd. headquarters in Olathe. There, you can meet the co-workers of engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla. Many are like him, an India-born man who came to the U.S. to work and prosper. A man is charged with killing Kuchibhotla after allegedly telling him to “get out of my country.”

As your motorcade traverses our area, you’ll see that we are a transportation hub, bisected by a web of highways and railroads. Kansas City Southern de Mexico, owned by and linked to the lines of Kansas City Southern, carries freight through northeastern routes in Mexico, exiting to ports on the Gulf and the Pacific Ocean. It’s a good thing — export/import.

Cross the state line and head toward the Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan. There you can observe a modern manufacturing workforce.

Finally, go west across Kansas to view the vast expanses of Midwest agriculture. The beauty of the Flint Hills is not to be missed. Sadly, you also will see the devastation from fires that recently swept the landscape, killing herds of cattle and ruining pasture land. A well funded Federal Emergency Management Agency is essential to addressing the devastating damage.

You’ll find that Midwesterners are steady in demeanor, a modest and hard-working group of folks. We’re a montage of the slices of humanity that exemplify America: hearty stock generations deep, constantly reinvigorated by new immigrant arrivals.

We’d be honored to welcome you to our city, President Trump.

Kindly RSVP at your earliest convenience.

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