WWI Museum marks somber centennial with reenactment

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Silent volunteers holding signs played the parts of conspirators in the assassination that fanned the flames to begin WWI.

Curious crowds stopped to read each of the signs as volunteers lined the sidewalks outside the memorial Saturday morning.

On June 28, 1914, two shots ended the lives of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife and triggered events that led to the war.

Jan Nelson is a life-long Kansas City resident but says Saturday was her first visit to the memorial. She came for this centennial and admits the museum brings her close to tears.

"It is an honor," she said. "And it has been here such a long time."

There was no re-enactment of the gun shots. This served as a somber way to mark a somber event said senior curator Doran Cart who also admits this is a one-of-a-kind ceremony.

"This is the only place in the world where this type of event is occurring where we're having the conspirators represented. We're having a similar car that the Archduke was riding in and that we're having that kind of ceremony, that we're having here."

Cart says the biggest myth about Ferdinand's assassination is that it marked the the start of WWI instead of perhaps the spark that set so many other events in to motion in the following weeks. 

The reenactment ended with a special ceremony. Saturday also marks the last night of Taps at the Tower where Taps will be played at sunset.

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