EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT) – The city of Emporia has close ties to Veterans Day. More than 60 years ago, people in Emporia helped get the name changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
The cold weather Monday forced a cancellation of the annual parade. People traditionally line the streets in downtown, but the main celebration moved inside this year.
“This is an awesome city to be a veteran in, it’s absolutely unbelievable, said Gary Post, an Army veteran that served in the Vietnam War. “The amount of activity, it’s not a day, it’s a month, it’s practically the whole year.”
Post said he hasn’t always shared his experiences during the war.
“I didn’t talk a lot about my military service up until the last maybe five or six years now, so it’s made a big difference. It’s made a big difference in the country, the way that they accept veterans and it’s made a difference in the veteran in the way they accept the country,” Post said.
The ceremony had speakers talk about the day’s meaning, the high school band played patriotic music and grade school students read why the day is important.
“We know historically that Vietnam vets didn’t necessarily get treated the way that they deserved when they came home,” said Megan McGuire, a social studies teacher in the Southern Lyon County School District. “So it’s important not only as a social studies teacher that I know that our students understand the background, but also the importance of honoring these veterans.”
It’s the younger generation caring about veterans, some that served long before they were born, that makes Veterans Day in this Kansas town so special.
“To come up and say thank you for your service, that does get to me, more than a lot of other things,” said Vietnam War veteran Frank Lowery. “It’s very heartwarming to be a part of a community that like I said, supports and encourages that kind of thing.”
President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill changing the day’s name to Veterans Day in 1954.