By John Hinman, Managing Director with Nexus 5 Group
Memorial Day this year was a rare one for me. I found myself with nothing on the calendar and wondering how I was going to fill my day. Then I noticed on social media, a friend of mine had a tradition of visiting local memorials around the city, so I thought I would give it a try. I talked a couple of my kids into going with me and we set out with no expectations. We researched where to go as we were driving towards downtown Kansas City.
I was blown away by the number of memorials in Kansas City
We visited a few of them, including the WWI Memorial, KCMO Fire Fighters Memorial, Rosedale Arch, Vietnam Memorial and the 9-11 Memorial. This turned out to be a great day. As we went from location to location, there was great conversation, reflection and curiosity as my kids and I hung out together for the day.
Rosedale World War I Memorial Arch
We started at the Rosedale World War I Memorial Arch. I’ve seen this many times from I-35, but had never visited. This memorial is dedicated to the Rosedale residents that served in the war. Additionally, there's a historical marker honoring the soldiers of WW1, Korean War and the Vietnam War.
Kansas City Missouri Fire Fighters Memorial
From there we visited the Kansas City Missouri Fire Fighters Memorial located at 31st and Broadway. This is a great memorial dedicated to the fire fighters of Kansas City that died in the line of duty. This memorial is very sobering and very well done.
Next on the journey was the Vietnam Memorial located across from St. Luke's Hospital on Broadway. Prior to this day, I didn't know this memorial existed. And I was a bit disappointed at the condition of it when we arrived. We reflected and talked about the sacrifice that several thousand soldiers gave during this war and that the current condition of this memorial doesn't honor the soldiers as they deserve.
World War I Memorial
We then stopped by the very well known World War I Memorial, which we've been to many times (and we've toured the museum underneath.) What a great tribute to the soldiers that sacrificed so much for our freedoms.
Finally, we visited the 9-11 Memorial located at approximately 127th and Antioch in south Overland Park. This one really hit home for me because I vividly remember the day where I was when the planes hit the towers, crashed in the field in Pennsylvania, and hit the Pentagon. This one hit me the hardest because I experienced that day.
The 9-11 monument has a column from one of the towers on site. On September 11th each year, the sun shines through a hole in the column and places a beam of light on the timeline wall across the monument area. The sun actually hits places on the wall describing the events of the day at the same time the events happened in 2001. Amazing!!!!
There are many other memorials around this great city, and I highly recommend visiting them and remembering the sacrifices that many have made for us to have the freedoms that we so often take for granted. As I reflect on the day, one thing that stands out to me is how grateful I am for the people that continually put themselves in harm’s way for people they don’t even know. I'm reminded that we live in a great country and I'm thankful for the freedoms that we have.
I did not anticipate that simply visiting these memorials and the memories that they create would anchor my appreciation for our great country and the people that have served to create it.
Never Forget and Never Take for Granted What We Have!!!