Cities to honor veterans today

Veterans Day officially is six days away, but Wichita, Valley Center and El Dorado will get a jump on the celebration with a multitude of activities today.

In Wichita, a parade begins at 11 a.m. at Main and Murdock.

The parade route goes south on Main to Douglas, then west on Douglas to the Kennedy Plaza on the north side of Century II. This year's theme is Welcome Home Troops, with a focus on those who have served in the fight against terrorism.

Following the parade, the public will have a chance to meet parade honorees and view vehicles and other memorabilia that will be on display. Honorees include Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Families and veterans of World War II.

Valley Center plans a Veterans Day program featuring a balloon release, flyover, historical displays and music.

An open house will start at 8:30 a.m. today followed by a tribute to armed forces at 9:30 a.m. Both events are at the Life Point Church, 400 S. Abilene.

At Veterans Park, balloons will be released at 10:45 a.m., followed by a memorial service.

El Dorado will host its annual Veterans Day celebration and World War II battle re-enactment.

Here is the schedule of events:

9 a.m. —World War II History Center at 119 W. Central opens. World War II veterans will be on hand to speak with visitors; a donation raffle will be held for a framed poster of the famous Times Square kiss between a sailor and a nurse.

11 a.m. —Veterans Day parade. The route begins on Central in front of the Butler County Courthouse.

Noon — Free hot-dog feed and float review in Gordy Park, two blocks south of the courthouse.

1:30 p.m. —World War II weapons and equipment demonstration at Kansas Oil Museum at 383 E. Central.

2 p.m. —World War II battle re-enactment at Kansas Oil Museum.

3:30 p.m. Raffle drawing.

4 p.m. —World War II movie "The Fighting Sullivans" at World War II History Center.