Personal Essays

Remembrance and Memorials

A Remembrance of Sacrifice

“In honor of those who served in the world war in defense of liberty and our country” is what the inscription says at the base of the tower. The figures at the top represent Courage, Honor, Patriotism and Sacrifice. The sphinx on the right, facing West, represents Future, looking toward the years ahead, which cannot be seen. The sphinx on the left, facing East, represents Memory, shrouding its face to protect it from seeing the horrors of war.

The Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri was built to commemorate the qualities of those who served in World War I. Of course when the funds were being raised, while it was under construction and when it was finally dedicated by Calvin Coolidge in 1926 there was no other world war. Both those who were mourned as well as those who did the remembering believed they had fought the "war to end all wars". Sadly they were wrong but it does not lessen sacrifices honored here. This is one of my favorite places. Though the war has been over for nearly 90 years, this place is suitable for remembering all those that have gone before as well as those that have sacrificed since so that I can live the life I live.

On a 488 foot long frieze unseen in this image is the inscription "Those who have dared bear the torches of sacrifice and service -- their bodies return to dust but their work liveth for evermore. Let us strive to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

Yes, let us do that.