Lawrence and the rest of the country will celebrate the Veterans Day holiday Monday at a time when national leaders again are talking about going to war.
People may reflect a little more this year about what Veterans Day means, said Vern Russell, commander of Alford-Clarke Post No. 852 of Veterans of Foreign Wars, 138 Ala.
"It brings to mind all of the active troops," Russell said. "I think the mood of the country shifts when the military is in the spotlight like it is now."
Originally called Armistice Day to mark the end of World War I, it was changed to Veterans Day by President Eisenhower in 1954.
The VFW will conduct an indoor ceremony at 11:11 a.m. Monday. The time signifies the World War I armistice, which was signed on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.
Maj. Gen. Gregory Gardner, the Kansas adjutant general, and Mayor Sue Hack will be guest speakers. The ceremony will end with a 21-gun salute.
The Kansas Department of the American Legion is asking Kansans to send an online Veterans Day greeting card to active-duty military personnel. The cards can be completed and sent at the Legion's Web site, www.legion.org. The cards can be sent from now through Tuesday.
This is the fourth year the greeting card service has been offered by the Legion.
Other area events:
- A 24-hour vigil and a speech by a retired general will mark Veterans Day at Kansas University.
Events will begin at 4 p.m. Monday with a ceremony at the Strong Hall flagpole. Retired Maj. Gen. Clayton Comfort, a 1953 KU graduate, will speak at 4:45 p.m. at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union.
Starting at 6 p.m., students in KU's ROTC programs will have their annual 24-hour vigil at the Vietnam Memorial.
- Col. Royal Brown will be the featured speaker Tuesday at McLouth High School's annual Veterans Day assembly.
Brown, a Leavenworth resident and veteran of three foreign wars, will speak at 8:30 a.m. at the high school's Gold gym.
Others scheduled to perform at the assembly include the McLouth High School band and chorus. Ken and Sue Hollingsworth will have an extensive military display in the commons area for viewing.
The event is open to all community members, especially veterans.
- The first Veterans Day ceremony since the reopening of the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., will be Monday on the memorial's south lawn.
Several bands, politicians and ROTC units will participate in the parade, set for 9:30 a.m. The ceremony honoring the veterans is set for 10 a.m.
Kathy Lee, a U.S. Army nurse who served in Vietnam, will speak, along with Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes and Congresswoman Karen McCarthy.