Ottawa Ottawa starts a weeklong tribute to its veterans Monday with a series of events leading up to a parade and military re-enactment demonstrations next weekend.
The Veterans Parade starts at 10:45 a.m. Saturday and will move down Main Street to Forest Park. The park will be the site of many of the military displays and re-enactments from the Civil War through the Iraq war. A Kansas National Guard helicopter lands in the park at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
A parade has been held for the past nine straight years in Ottawa, and activities in conjunction with the Nov. 11 Veterans Day holiday have grown, said Harold Mayes, chairman of the Ottawa Veterans Committee, which organizes the events.
"It's an opportunity for the town and the county to honor its veterans, and we think that is especially important because we've lost two of our own in the Iraq war," Mayes said.
Mayes was referring to Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Wasser, Ottawa, and Army Sgt. Jacob Butler, Wellsville, both killed in action in Iraq.
Saturday afternoon in the park after the helicopter landing, re-enactments will be held. Among them will be a World War II re-enactment featuring cannon, machine gun and rifle fire along with military vehicles and pyrotechnics. A wild west shootout also will be performed. Re-enactments will be held again starting at 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 7.
A tribute to Bob Hope and his USO shows from the 1950s will be presented at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday in the Carnegie Cultural Center, 515 Main.
Monday through Friday the Carnegie Center will be the site of displays, music and refreshments while military veterans from various wars are honored and receive a chance to talk about their experiences. A complete schedule of events can be found at www.ottawawavets.org/2004/sched.html. Below are some of the key events Saturday.
- Veterans parade, 10:45 a.m., along Main Street
- At 11 a.m. the parade will stop for a ceremony at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial in front of the Franklin County Courthouse.
- Kansas National Guard helicopter lands in Forest Park, 12:30 p.m.
- Displays and re-enactors and their battle equipment on display at the park from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- World War II military re-enactment at 1:15 p.m. in the park.
- Wild West re-enactment with shoot-outs at 2:30 p.m. in the park.
- Civil War re-enactment at 3:30 p.m. in the park.