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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Reichley: Mark your calendars for important dates

  • Readers were given a “heads up” and a save-the-date several columns ago.
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  • Readers were given a "heads up" and a save-the-date several columns ago. But these have been the so-called "Dog Days of Summer," and both a reminder and more information may be due at this time. And since this is Labor Day weekend with many folks away, there will be more reminders in future columns. I've learned that if people are not aware of an upcoming event, it is a good bet they won't attend the event due to not knowing about it.
    Today's mission is to inform readers who care so they can make sure an important date is on their calendar.
    A few years ago, 17 to be exact, a colleague at CGSC asked if I'd be interested in providing a historical display in a library across the Wide Missouri. I'm always ready and willing to provide a display to promulgate history, so said sure.
    That took me to the first Veterans Salute, at the Mid-Continent Public Library in Weston. It was on a Saturday, and its purpose was, as one might figure out from its name, to salute veterans.
    The librarians had never served in the military, but a couple of them were Civil War re-enactors. They knew a lot of Civil War history, but there weren't a lot of Civil War veterans in the area to be saluted. Not above ground, anyway.
    So several of us, all retired Army officers, pooled our collective resources and ideas to help the patriotic librarians pull off what became a most memorable day. The Old Boys who attended felt sufficiently saluted indeed.
    So a Veterans Salute #2 was planned, and I was asked to be on the planning committee. Now, 17 years later, I'm still on the committee, although a lot has changed.
    Someone thought it would be a good idea to designate a theme for each year's Salute, one that honored a military event celebrating an anniversary. So in 2000 the 50th anniversary of the start of the Korean War was chosen, and in 2003 the 50th anniversary of the Korean War truce was the theme.
    In 2011 Pearl Harbor was honored, with two of the five Pearl Harbor survivors in the Kansas City area attending. And, 10 years after 2003, this year's theme is the 60th anniversary of the Korean War truce.
    So, for those few calendars that haven't yet been marked, now is the time to block the whole day of Oct. 19 for you and family and friends to go to the Smithville Library for a full day of immersing yourself in military history.
    Inside the air-conditioned building you can see 50 tables of historical military artifacts, with several of them displaying artifacts from the Korean War. Several veterans groups in the greater Kansas City area have members on the planning committee, including one of Korean War veterans.
    Page 2 of 2 - So there should be plenty of Old Boys there, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force, who participated in what they call "The Forgotten War." It will be far from forgotten in Smithville on Oct. 19.
    The new Korean liaison officer at Fort Leavenworth will be there, as will all Korean students. International military students from all countries at CGSC whose armies participated in the war will be invited. At the Weston Salute in 2003 with the same theme, there were CGSC students from 12 United Nations countries that sent troops to Korea, and all 12 attended, in uniform.
    More details coming in future columns. This one is to give a bit of historical perspective to The Big Day on Oct. 19. So go mark those calendars now while the date is fresh on your mind.

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