7:07 PM, Nov 12, 2005
A Different Time
I took another walk, today.
This time to about 28th St and back, winding chaotically in a lateral fashion, there and back. I decided that my southern terminus on today's walk should be one of those things that speaks of an era when Kansas City was great, and embodied the American Dream. I walked to the Liberty Memorial
. Pictures here
. My sister-in-law was all but offered a curatorship at the museum there, but was unable to accept. It would have been a great place to run, I think.
Its solitary 264-foot obelisk, situated on top of a hill overlooking downtown, is a striking structure, and difficult to miss, even with a quick glance. I've visited it before, but any previous visits were dedicated to the view afforded by the observation balcony at its pinnacle, and that view is spectacular. I had never read the plaques or the inscriptions into the stone before. It all hearkens to a different time. It evokes thoughts of a time when the world had just seen an end to the most hideous war in its history, to date. It also evokes thoughts of the optimism that pervaded. It was the beginning of an era of prosperity, not to be outdone until the 1950s, or possibly the 1980s. It was a time when things we all take for granted were just becoming available to normal people: automobiles, telephones, electricity, access to mass media, paved streets, and many other luxuries that stood for a long time as indicative of American prosperity.
I was tingling, as I stood in front of this largely forgotten monument, a manifestation of the joy and struggle of a generation also long forgotten. It was the realization of the dreams of millions, embodied in this civic work, dedicated in 1921. Politicians, foreign dignitaries, the vice president, and hundreds of thousands of eager onlookers stood and watched as 60,000 veterans marched into the monument, to dedicate the site. I can only imagine the excitement that hung in the air that day. I wish I could have been there.