Photographer displays WWI battlefields as they look today at Liberty Memorial

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Veterans and their families gathered under the Liberty Memorial this morning to honor those men and women who died in battle.

This year also marks 100 years when America entered the Great War, and an English photographer displayed photographs of what the former battlefields in Europe look like today.

"The idea behind the photographs is they show lands which were once places of horror and killing, and today, you know, time and nature have healed the wounds of war and they're actually places of great beauty, and great peace and tranquility," said photographer and Keynote speaker Mike Scheil.

As the keynote speaker, he talked about the impact America had on the war.

Scheil, a native of England, expressed his honor in being chosen to speak at the ceremony.

"I'm very honored to have been invited by the museum," he said. "This is a real world class museum, and the work they do here is fantastic. I'm actually delighted because I think I'm probably going to be able to say things which Americans couldn't say on such a time because it would seem a bit grandiose, because I think the history of America in the first World War has been largely forgotten by people. And I think it's a real shame because it's a history of which the American people can be incredibly proud."

The Allied victory helped the U.S. become a world power and strengthened our nation's military.

And he says many immigrants from enemy countries fought and died for America to preserve the freedom we enjoy today, and shed light on the United States' humanitarian work, a massive undertaking that many Americans aren't even aware of today.

"You've got to bear in mind that many of those young men weren't really Americans; they were immigrants. You'd had huge immigration. These were young men, sometimes of German descent, so it was an extraordinary performance. And your humanitarian work during the first World War -- there's a thing called the Belgian Relief Fund, which you literally were feeding the occupied countries of Belgium and northern France for four years. And it's still the biggest ever humanitarian project undertaken. It was over six million tons of food that you shipped to feed those people during the war. And this is forgotten about. It's a side of America I think you should be immensely proud of."

"If we just remember the men because they die, well that's sad. But if you then, that doesn't give any meaning to their death, but if we talk about their achievements and what did they create then that is really something," Scheil said.

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