Members of the public are invited to several ceremonies honoring veterans today.
Cal Albert won't ever forget his wife's birthday -- Nov. 11 -- but she's not the only one to whom he'll pay respect today.
Albert, commander of American Legion Post No. 14, 3408 W. Sixth, will be at a Veterans Day ceremony this morning, but he remembers when similar ceremonies used to attract more attention.
"It used to be I got the day off on my wife's birthday, but now the only things that are closed are the banks and the post office," said Albert, whose wife is named Armistice but goes by Misty.
Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, is the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918.
The theme for the ceremony, sponsored by the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars, is "Where Have All the Veterans Gone?"
"We try to get a lot of the younger people involved, but it doesn't come to pass," Albert said.
A group of children from Oskaloosa will attend the ceremony, which will feature the pledge of allegiance, "God Bless America," and speeches by Lawrence Mayor Erv Hodges and Col. Kevin McNellis of the Air Force ROTC program at Kansas University.
"We have the school group from Oskaloosa, and perhaps observing the ceremony and finding out what Veterans Day is will get them started on the track of Americanism and flag respect," Albert said. "Probably all of them had a dad or a granddad that served."
The ceremony will start at 11:11 a.m., signifying the signing of the armistice. A 21-gun salute and color presentation will follow the speeches.
- Also today, Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., will speak at a veterans appreciation reception this afternoon. The reception, sponsored by the Office of Veterans' Services at KU, will start at 2:30 p.m. in the Big 12 Room of the Kansas Union. At 3:30 p.m., the KU Air Force ROTC will present a ceremony recognizing POW/MIAs at Woodruff Auditorium.
Marla Herron, assistant registrar, said there are 350 KU students who receive veterans' benefits. Herron works with veterans' paperwork to ensure students receive their benefits.
"The ceremony is to honor and celebrate the contributions that veterans have made to the campus, as students, staff and faculty, as well as people in the community," Herron said. "I think it's important to honor veterans."
-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is email@example.com.