Places to Honor Everyday Patriots | Midwest Living

Places to Honor Everyday Patriots

It's not just ringing parades and booming fireworks that celebrate the heart of America. This July 4th, plan a road trip to a few of the quieter stops marking the human dramas that, woven together, are the fabric of our national story.

Kansas City, Missouri: National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial

Visitors enter this stunning site above a field of 9,000 red poppies; each flower represents 1,000 people killed in the Great War, for a staggering 9 million casualties. Inside, a film explores the complex global factors leading to World War I, and exhibits delve into life in the trenches and at home. After just a few moments, you'll be transported to a time when the rest of the world considered the United States its savior. (816) 888-8100;

Indianapolis: Soldiers and Sailors Monument

Partly refurbished last year, Monument Circle's anchor honors Hoosiers who have served and given their lives in every conflict since the Revolution. The base holds the Col. Eli Lilly Civil War Museum; limestone sculptures depict a sailor, a cavalry man, infantry man and artillery man. Stone carvings reveal war's beginning and end, including an emotional return home. (317) 232-7615;

Independence, Missouri: The Harry S. Truman National Historic Site

The only U.S. president to use nuclear weapons returned from Washington, D.C., to life on a quiet residential street. Save for the book-filled study, much of the furnishings and decor look like that of a 1950s middle-class home—making even more poignant Truman's ability to walk away from power when his service was through. (816) 254-9929;

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