Kansas City Congressman Emanuel Cleaver calls approval of the Frank Buckles World War One Memorial Act “an unprecedented show of bipartisanship.” The act designates Kansas City’s Liberty Monument and World War One museum as a national site. The resolution sets up a national commission to observe the centennial of the war. The U-S Senate still have to approve it.
Kansas City school children and adults raised $2.5 million in ten day to finance the memorial’s construction in 19-19. Cleaver says the dedication ceremony in 1924 was the only time all of the supreme allied commanders were in the same place.
When Cleaver was mayor of Kansas City seventy years later, more private money was raised to restore the Memorial and create the country’s only museum devoted exclusively to World War One.
The bill is named for Bethany native Frank Buckles, who died last year. Buckles was 110 and the last surviving World War One combat veteran.
Congressman Sam Graves, whose district includes Buckles’ home town, recalls that Buckles pushed for passage of the bill.