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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Reichley: Date for your calendar: Veterans Salute

  • Newspaper folks have a unique message system from writers to editors, layout editors, and other assorted folks.
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  • Newspaper folks have a unique message system from writers to editors, layout editors, and other assorted folks. Some things are in a kind of code that tell editors the writer's intent.
    The code for the title of today's column was "VS II." That means nothing to the reader, but tells the editor a lot. So the reader will understand, it means that today's column is the second installment about the upcoming Veterans Salute.
    Readers got a head's up to put the date on their calendar last month in VS I. Some actually did. As I ventured around Leavenworth the past few weeks several folks, who I assume are regular readers, said they had put Oct. 19 on their calendar.
    If a reader has to ask what is a Veterans Salute, he or she is either a new reader, or has a short memory span. The Mid-Continent Public Library system across the wide Missouri River has been sponsoring a fall Veterans Salute for 17 years.
    It is a day, always a Saturday, that salutes military veterans from all services and all wars. It is a day-long tribute to the men and women who have worn any of the armed services' uniforms and served our country in peace or in war.
    It is at one of the system's 30 libraries scattered across several counties in Missouri. This one is again at the Smithville branch, 120 Richardson Street, in Smithville. It was there last year, so the system could show off its newest and largest library.
    This year it was slated to return to Platte City, where it had been for three years. But since Platte City drew between 300 and 500 visitors, and Smithville brought in more than 1,000 in 2012, the committee members all signed a letter requesting that it return to Smithville again this year. The decider in chief concurred, and so it shall be.
    It's few miles farther from Leavenworth, but plenty of Leavenworth folks managed to make the trip last October, and hopefully many will again on the 19th.
    So what will visitors see? The planners are never exactly sure just what groups will show up, so I shan't go into the finite details about what can be seen. Suffice it to be said that inside the library will be some 50 tables filled with historical military artifacts from WW I to the fighting in Afghanistan.
    And as visitors wander at their pace to look at the exhibits they will be treated to the soft melodies of 1950s songs played from vintage radios. The music will be soft, but audible.
    Outside will be several vintage military vehicles from WW II and the Korean War. And a Huey helicopter, a veteran of the Vietnam War. The old boy doesn't fly anymore, but is mounted on a flatbed trailer for all to see.
    Page 2 of 2 - There might be a re-enactment and lots of rifle firing from people wearing very authentic looking WW II American and German uniforms.
    For several years each Salute has had a theme from military history. Since the armistice that ended the fighting in Korea was signed 60 years ago this year, in 1953, the theme commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Korean Armistice.
    The new Korean liaison officer at Fort Leavenworth and all Korean students will be on hand, in uniform, and all countries that sent troops to Korea that are represented at the fort will be invited. They will be invited to wear their uniforms also, so it will be a good "photo op" day for colorful uniforms from other countries one doesn't see every day. Unless, of course, one is a faculty member or student at CGSC.
    The opening ceremony is at 9:30, with a local tie that will be explained in VS III.
    Hope to see many of you at a fine Salute day in Smithville on Saturday, Oct. 19. Oh yes, everything is free.

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