Local military groups will host several events in honor of Veterans Day.
Next Wednesday, which is Veterans Day, a ceremony is set for 11:11 a.m. at the American Legion, 3408 W. Sixth St.
After the ceremony, a ham and bean lunch will be served. The meal is free for veterans, and organizers are asking for a small donation from nonveterans. The event is sponsored by the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled Veterans of America.
On Saturday, the local VFW and its auxiliaries will distribute Buddy Poppies at several local merchants. The poppies, which represent American blood shed in wars, are assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA hospitals. All donations benefit needy veterans and current members of the Armed Forces and their dependents.
At Haskell Indian Nations University, the Veterans Club will host its annual powwow from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday at Coffin Sports Complex at Haskell. The event is designed to honor native veterans and active military members, and a special tribute to World War II Navajo Code Talkers is planned. Gourd dancing will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed at 6 p.m. by an honor ceremony and a powwow from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The powwow will also feature native arts, crafts and food vendors.
Cadets from the Kansas University ROTC will hold a 24-hour vigil from 7 p.m. Friday until 7 p.m. Saturday. Two cadets will be posted at each of the three war memorials on campus: the Vietnam War Memorial, the Memorial Campanile and the Korean War Memorial.
On Saturday, ROTC students will host a 5-kilometer run to raise money for veterans. The race will begin at 8:15 a.m. Runners can enter with a $15 donation to the National Veterans Foundation. It will start at KU’s Burge Union and follow a zigzag course. The ROTC will give awards to the top three male and female runners with the fastest finishing times. For more information, call 847-420-1985.
The Dole Institute of Politics is planning “A Tribute to Veterans: USO-Style” beginning at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 15. The event is free, but reservations are required. Contact the institute — 864-4900 or firstname.lastname@example.org — to reserve your space by Monday.
Here’s a look at other area Veterans Day activities:
• Baldwin: Elementary School Intermediate Center is offering lunch to all veterans at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
• De Soto: VFW Post 6654 will dedicate a memorial from noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 14 at the post, 33735 W. 84th St. Activities: speeches, flyover of vintage military aircraft, presentation by a military color guard and a restored military vehicles show. After the dedication, a steak dinner and concert of 1940s and 1950s music by the Olathe Civic Jazz Band. Dinner cost: $14 for adults and $7.50 for people 14 and younger.
• Gardner: Ceremony at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Memorial Park, South Center Street and Pawnee Lane, including a flyover of vintage aircraft, patriotic music and addresses by Gold Star families. Featured speakers include County Commission Chair Annabeth Surbaugh and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Dave Johnson.
• Leavenworth: Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in downtown, followed by a reception at 418 Cherokee St., honoring the parade grand master, the late Alfredo Padilla. The parade will stop at 11 a.m. for playing of “Taps” and a flyover by Leavenworth native Lt. Col. Grant Gooch with the Iowa Air National Guard.
• McLouth: Veterans Day assembly at 8:20 a.m. Tuesday at McLouth High School. Three U.S. Army officers attending classes at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth will speak about their experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq.
• Tonganoxie: From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Master Sgt. Robert Ellis will sign copies of his book, “Caring for Victor: A U.S. Army Nurse and Saddam Hussein,” at Tonganoxie VFW Post Home, 910 E. First St. In the book, the St. Louis man describes his eight months in Iraq as an Army nurse and caregiver to Saddam Hussein. The book also features Tonganoxie Police Chief Kenny Carpenter, who oversaw Hussein’s detention.
• Topeka: Ceremony from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the All Veterans Memorial at the Great Overland Station, 701 N. Kansas Ave. Guest speaker: Jerry Holley, Department of Assistant Adjutant. And at Washburn University, a ceremony is set for 11:40 a.m. Wednesday at the Vietnam veterans memorial site, which is at the southeast side of Morgan Hall, followed by a reception in the upper level lounge of Memorial Union, where a display from the Combat Air Museum will be exhibited.