VFW Centennial Plaza

Photo by Cheryl Hanback

Location: Veterans of Foreign Wars National Headquarters, 406 W 34th Street, Kansas City, MO

Owner: Veterans of Foreign Wars

Artist: Jim Brothers

Dates: 2001, Sculpture dedicated October 5, 2001

Medium: Bronze (sculpture), granite (base)


The VFW Centennial Plaza is dedicated to America's brave men and women who have served or are currently serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard. There are three parts to the Centennial Plaza.

The first part is the memorial wall. The plaque for the plaza as well as the seals for the five branches of the armed forces are mounted on the wall. Memorial bricks are in place between the wall and the concrete.

The second part is the Jim Brothers sculpture titled "Citizen Soldier." It was commissioned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. It commemorates the VFW's first century of service for those in uniform and the communities in which they live. The sculpture also highlights three important aspects of the VFW. First, the VFW member helps the soldier by supporting veterans. Second, the document in the member's hand symbolizes the fight for veterans in the public and political arenas. Third, the entire piece symbolizes the transition from soldier to citizen and VFW member.

The third part is the wall and fountains. There are five plaques showing different aspects of the VFW: Origins, Legislative, Remembrance, Community Service Ladies Auxiliary, and Future Vision. At the foot of the wall under each plaque are two small bubblers in a small pool. A walkway made up of memorial bricks lead up to the plaques and bubblers. A small wall hides the lower half of the wall and the fountains from the street and invites people to come up and take a closer look.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

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