Danedri Thompson
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The county’s annual Veterans Day celebration returns to Gardner this year, but it won’t include a parade as originally advertised. The event is set for Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at Veteran Memorial Park on Center Street.
Girls wave flags during the county Veterans Day celebration in 2009. The celebration returns to Gardner this year. File photo
Girls wave flags during the county Veterans Day celebration in 2009. The celebration returns to Gardner this year. File photo
Organizers have canceled the parade that was to precede the ceremony, due to the possibility of poor weather on Nov. 11.
The ceremony will take place under a tent within feet of a fallen soldier monument – a rifle, boots and helmet – dedicated to the Veteran Memorial Park in memory of Private First Class Shane Austin, Edgerton, who was killed in Iraq in 2006.
“This is an opportunity for the public to welcome home our veterans and express our gratitude,” Johnson County Board of Commissioners Chair Ed Eilert said.
Lt. Col. Carla F. Hale, Shawnee, will speak at the ceremony. Hale is the commander of the Kansas National Guard’s 169th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. Her military career spans almost 28 years including deployments to Bosnia-Herzegovina and to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Gold Star families, those who have lost a loved one in military service in World War II, Korea, the Vietnam War and Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan will be special guests at the observance.
Johnson County’s annual Veterans Day observance began in 1987 with public services on the south steps of the Johnson County Courthouse in downtown Olathe before moving to the Kansas National Armory in west Olathe from 1995 to 2006. Since 2007, the event has occurred at the veteran memorial sites throughout Johnson County. The ceremony took place last year at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Overland Park and at Gardner’s Veterans Memorial Park in 2009. This is the second time a parade has been