Emporia honoring veterans with downtown parade, memorial service Thursday

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Hundreds of banners line Commercial Street in Emporia to honor veterans.

EMPORIA (KSNT) – Folks in Emporia, the founding city of Veterans Day, are honoring veterans with a series of events Thursday.

One of the biggest events is the Veterans Day parade. Nearly 50 floats will drive down Commercial Street from 4th Avenue to 12th Avenue. Lt. Governor David Toland is scheduled to ride in the parade, which begins at 9: 30 a.m.

LeLan Dains is the director of Visit Emporia. As the founders of Veterans Day, he said Emporia takes pride in honoring veterans.

“We’re proud of the sacrifice and service those men and women provide, so we can have the freedoms that we have,” Dains said. “It’s very important for us to provide that honor and recognition back to them.”

Veterans Day was launched in Emporia nearly 70 years ago. Dains said the idea came from Emporia native Alvin King, who recommended that Armistice Day be changed to honor veterans of all wars.

“That was recognized for the first time in Emporia in ’53,” Dains said. “Then federally it got changed in 54 by fellow Kansan President Dwight D. Eisenhower.”

Following the parade, there is a Veterans Memorial Service at the All Veterans Memorial, a ham and bean lunch at the American Legion, and Sara Evans in Concert at the Granada. The Memorial Service begins at 11 a.m. Click here for the full schedule.

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm