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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Reichley: Last reminder about Veterans Salute Oct. 19

  • This is it, dear readers, your last chance to mark your calendar for a really big event for those who like military history.
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  • This is it, dear readers, your last chance to mark your calendar for a really big event for those who like military history.
    I promised you three chances to jot down this upcoming event, and this is number three. The event is called a Veterans Salute, and it will be an all day Saturday event just a few miles east of Leavenworth.
    The event is sponsored by the Mid-Continent Public Library system, with the 2013 Salute again being held at the newest and largest library in the 30-system library, in Smithville, Mo. It will be Saturday, Oct. 19, which is coming soon.
    In recent years each Salute has had a theme, and this year's theme is the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Korean Armistice that ended the three years of fighting in Korea.
    A planning committee has been busy since shortly after last year's Salute planning what to do to get the public to come and enjoy the day. Perhaps the best enjoyment is that everything at the library that day, including parking, is free.
    Several veterans organizations, including some Korean War veterans organizations in the Kansas City area, are represented on the committee. Hopefully the word has spread throughout veterans groups in the greater Kansas City area and a lot of people will turn out to let the veterans who attend know they are appreciated.
    The opening ceremony will be at 9:30 a.m. in front of the library. The speaker will be Ret. Col. Hersch Chapman of Leavenworth who was a young lieutenant in Korea. He will also be on a panel with four other Korean War veterans and Lt. Col. Kwangsoo Kim, Korean Liaison officer to the Combined Arms Center at the fort. There will be a program for visitors listing all events.
    Speaking of the fort, there are 22 international military students from countries that sent troops to Korea during the war, and all have been invited to attend and to wear their uniform. Included in the 22 are three majors from the Korean army. Hopefully some will show up.
    Inside the library will be 60 tables with historical artifacts from every war since WW I, military miniature vehicles, antique radios playing music from the 1950s, and representatives from service organizations with information about various subjects.
    Outside will be vintage military vehicles and a skirmish between re-enactors in authentic looking WW II American and German uniforms.
    There will be something to do until 4 when the Salute ends. To get there, for those with GPS the address is 120 Richardson Street, Smithville, Mo., 64089. For those without GPS, take Highway 92 east across the bridge, follow the detour, cross I-29 at Platte City, keep going about six miles to Smithville and the light at the intersection with Highway 169.
    Page 2 of 2 - Go left, and the library is the building on the right beyond Super 8 Motel and O'Reilly Auto Parts. The hospital is the building just beyond the library, and its parking lot will be open for visitors. The library's parking will be for those working at the Salute.
    If anyone has a question the library's number is 816-532-0116. This is the second year the Salute has been in Smithville, so most of the staff are veterans of last year and can answer your questions.
    It hasn't rained in several years of the 17 years of the Salute; if it does, outside activities will be curtailed but the display tables inside can still be seen.
    More than 1,000 people attended last year. If you were one, you know how enjoyable a Salute is. If you haven't yet been, this is a good time to start.
    John Reichley is a retired Army officer.

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