ELLINWOOD — Sunday, Nov. 11, a combined effort of the Ellinwood Historical Society and the American Legion Hines-Gossman Post 320 culminated in multi-faceted observation of Remembrance Day. That is how Veteran’s Day was referred to from the one-year anniversary of the signing of the armistice that halted World War I hostilities on Nov. 11, 1918.
Members of the two organizations wanted to do something big for the 100th anniversary of that historic occasion. Weeks prior, the Museum of Ellinwood displayed WW I uniforms, photos and other memorabilia of the era. Sunday, a detailed display was the centerpiece of the celebration at the legion hall.
Complete uniforms belonging to Private Ferdinand Johanning, US Army, and Private David F. Hammeke, Battery A, 88th Division, 337th Field Artillery, were featured. Daughters Evelyn Hoffman, Arlene Kutina and Angie Hammeke were there.
Hoffman shared how Johanning had longed to go to Europe and become a war hero, but instead was pressed into service close to home at Camp Funston. It was due to the pandemic flu crises, which was born there, and later circled the globe, Hoffman said.
A bugle signal invited attendees to take a seat and introductions were made. Barton Community College History Professor Linda McCaffrey presented a program, “WW I – Causes and Impact,” followed by a reading of names of WW I veterans from Ellinwood. LLoyd Kurtz recited the poem “In Flanders Field” by John McCrae, followed by musical entertainment provided by the Ellinwood High School Mystic Blues. The group performed music of the era, both to accompaniment and a capella.
After a WW I-era meal that featured a soldier-sized slab of beef, mashed potatoes, baked carrots and topped off with a serving of bread pudding, the poem “For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon was read. The evening ended with the playing of “Taps.”