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Wichita parade honors veterans; other area events planned for Veterans Day

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at 5:51 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, at 9:16 a.m.

Veterans Day parade in downtown Wichita

Wichitans celebrated Veterans Day with a parade Saturday in downtown Wichita. Video by Deb Gruver/The Wichita Eagle. Nov. 9, 2013

Veterans Day weekend events

Sunday

Wichita

• National Veterans Day Run, 11K, 5K and 1-mile family walk; 7 a.m., Sedgwick County Park, Shelter No. 1, 6501 W. 21st St. Registration $20 to $40 at http://www.veteransdayrun.com/run/wichita.

• Lt. Col. Janis Dashner, chaplain for the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell, will be the guest speaker at a potluck supper honoring veterans at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 925 N. Waco. The supper, which is open to the public, is from 5 to 7 p.m. Take food to share. The event is sponsored by Partners for Wichita, an interdenominational nonprofit.

Monday

Wichita

• Southwestern College branch campus, 2040 S. Rock Road, will offer doughnuts, coffee and juice from 9 to 11 a.m. to veterans, who are invited to share stories and sign holiday cards that will be mailed to deployed troops.

• Wreath-laying service, 11 a.m., Veterans Memorial Park, 339 N. Greenway, followed by an open house of the park until 1 p.m. Wreaths will be laid at all memorials in the park.

• Ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony, 10 a.m., Dole VA Medical Center Peace Garden, 5500 E. Kellogg.

• “A Salute to Veterans” by Wichita Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, 7 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 330 N. Broadway. The program also is a benefit for Kansas Honor Flight, which sends veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit war memorials.

• Veterans and military members will be admitted free to the Museum of World Treasures, 835 E. First St. The museum will display a World War II-era Nazi flag signed by U.S. soldiers and sent home from France. At 3 p.m., Sgt. Cyril Leuelling will tell the story behind the flag.

Derby

• Derby Area Veterans Memorial Walk of Freedom and Ceremony, 2 p.m., Garrett Park, 1100 E. Chet Smith. If the weather is bad, the event will be at Woodlawn United Methodist Church, 431 S. Woodlawn, Derby.

Douglass

• Sisk Middle School will host a program honoring veterans, firefighters, law enforcement personnel, emergency medical technicians and American Red Cross volunteers at 10 a.m. at the Douglass Sports Complex. Guests are invited to the middle school gym at 9:30 a.m. for cookies, coffee and fellowship.

Emporia

• Parade, downtown Emporia, 9:30 a.m. Kansans provided the inspiration in 1953 for Veterans Day observations nationally. Emporia residents started a grassroots effort to observe the day honoring veterans of all wars. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed legislation recognizing Nov. 11 as a federal holiday. Before then, it was known as Armistice Day.

Kansas City

• National World War I Museum, 100 W. 26th St., will be open free to the public. Ceremony at 10 a.m. World War I re-enactors will greet visitors and distribute poppies. The museum will also unveil an exhibit of a stationary train car modeled after the Pullman sleeper cars of the 1940s, allowing visitors to experience the sights, sounds and emotions of leaving home for war.

Hutchinson

• Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center will offer free admission to veterans with a paying companion for any show or exhibit.

Topeka

• Veterans Day parade, 11 a.m., downtown. Route begins at Fourth Street, heads south on Kansas Avenue, turns right on 12th Street, heads north on Jackson Avenue and ends at Sixth Street.

Overland Park

• Johnson County’s Veterans Day Observance includes the dedication of a new panel added to the city’s Korean War Veterans Memorial honoring Chaplain Emil Kapaun, a Pilsen native who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The ceremony is at 11 a.m. at the corner of 119th and Lowell.

Free meals for veterans

These are among the area restaurants that plan to offer free or reduced-price meals as a thank-you to veterans and active duty military personnel on Veterans Day. Guests will need to provide proof of service.

Jimmie’s Diners, 3111 N. Rock Road and 1519 S. George Washington Blvd: 25 percent off meals to military members with an ID, both active and retired.

Oliver’s Little Italy, 1930 S. Oliver: 15 percent off the bill for all military members, EMS personnel, firefighters and Wichita police.

Paradise Donuts, 3107 W. Central: Free doughnut and small coffee for any active and retired military members from 5 a.m. to noon.

Curly’s American Diner, 1530 S. Webb Road: Free meal for active duty military, National Guard and veterans from a special menu.

Applebee’s, many Wichita locations: Free meal from special menu.

Carrabba’s, 3409 N. Rock Road: Free appetizer Saturday through Monday.

Chili’s, several Wichita locations: Free meal from special menu.

Longhorn Steakhouse, 2720 N. Maize Road and 440 S. Towne East Mall Drive: Free Tonion appetizer.

Texas Roadhouse, 6707 W. Kellogg: Free lunch from a special menu for active-duty, former or retired military members.

Red Robin, 9990 E. 13th St. North: One free Tavern double burger to veterans or active duty military members with ID or in uniform.

Outback Steakhouse, 2020 N. Rock Road and 233 S. Ridge Road: Free Bloomin’ Onion and a beverage.

Hooters, 3151 N. Rock Road: Free meal up to $10.99 with any drink purchase.

Golden Corral, 616 S. Ridge Road Circle and 11006 E. Kellogg: Free meal from 4 to 9 p.m.

Olive Garden, 323 N. Rock Road and 2641 N. Maize Road: Free meal from a special menu plus 10 percent off for family members dining with veterans. Current members of the military and dependents get 10 percent off throughout November.

Red Lobster, 555 S. West St. and 333 S. Towne East Mall Drive: Free appetizer from special menu Monday through Thursday.

Krispy Kreme, 7777 E. Central: Free doughnut and small coffee to military with ID or those in uniform.

On the Border, 2347 N. Maize Road and 1930 N. Rock Road: Free Create Your Own Combo meal.

TGI Friday’s, 2441 N. Maize Road: Free lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

As military planes flew overhead, Meyer Truman recalled his days in World War II.

The Newton resident came out Saturday for a Veterans Day parade in downtown Wichita. Wearing an Honor Flight T-shirt, Truman said he served in the war for 33 months.

He was 19 years and 3 days old when he joined the Army, he said. Truman, 89, said he visited Washington, D.C., on an honor flight in 2007. Honor flights allow veterans to see the war memorials in the nation’s capital. The first flight was in 2005.

“There were 103 of us on the plane,” Truman said of his flight. “We had 33 high school kids with us.”

Truman said he didn’t want to miss Saturday’s parade and wanted to pay tribute to other veterans like himself. U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, who was grand marshal, waved to spectators from a camoflauge-painted military truck. A Republican, Roberts is the most senior former Marine now serving in Congress. Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer also participated in the parade, as did Junior ROTC members from the Wichita school district.

Truman joked that he was not related to President Harry S Truman.

“Now, that isn’t Roosevelt,” Truman said when he introduced his wife, Ellenora, whose name is similar to first lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s.

The parade began at Murdock and Main and ended at Century II. It included marching bands, the Kansas Kountree Kloggers, motorcycle riders from American Legion posts and a historic flag display.

Esmerelda Sosa-Mendez brought three veterans to the parade. Sosa-Mendez and her husband, Ignacio Sosa-Mendez, help care for them in a medical foster home.

“We wanted to bring them out so they can also celebrate the day,” she said of Ollie Hodge, Donald Swanigan and Albert Willoughby.

Veterans Day is Monday, and government offices, including Wichita City Hall and the Sedgwick County Courthouse, will be closed.

Reach Deb Gruver at 316-268-6400 or dgruver@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SGCountyDeb.

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