This weekend several events are scheduled in Great Bend to honor veterans and observe Veterans Day Sunday, Nov. 11.
Starting Friday, Nov. 9, Great Bend High School will hold an assembly at 9:30 a.m. in the school’s old gym. Jake Radke, Commander of Great Bend’s VFW Post 3111 Morrison-Mc Fadden, will present a talk, and representatives from American Legion Riders Chapter 180 will stand a flag line. Both the GBHS Band and Madrigals will perform patriotic pieces. The hour long performance is open to the public, said GBHS band director Mark Dewald.
On Saturday, Nov. 10, Sterling House will host a free lunch for all veterans at noon, followed by live music by the Old Time Town Band until 2 p.m.
On Sunday, Nov. 11, at 10:30 a.m., The Great Bend American Legion presents a Veterans Day ceremony at Great Bend’s Veterans Park Memorial. American Legion Riders will stand a flag line, and American Legion Post Commander Bob Jarmer will give a short talk before flags are posted. The GBHS Band will perform, and Kevin Lockwood and a group of WWII re enactors will stand in uniform as a tribute to veterans of that war.
The Veteran’s Park ceremony has become a Great Bend tradition, with responsibilities for the observance rotating between the American Legion, VFW, and Disabled Veterans groups, said Chris Krueger, director of the Post 180 Riders. Following the program Sunday, Legion Riders will Stop at all four Great Bend care homes to honor veterans, Krueger said. They include Sterling House, River Bend, Cherry Village and Great Bend Health and Rehabilitation. This is the third year they’ve made a point of formally greeting and thanking veterans in this way, he said.
Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the Great Bend VFW hall, members of the Central Kansas Thread Benders Quilting Guild and Martha Smith, the regional coordinator for Quilts of Valor, will present a quilt to a veteran from each of the wars the United States has fought in recent history, said Sandra Vink, leader of the Thread Benders.
“Our quilting guild heard about the Quilts of Valor project, and committed to creating these quilts in hopes it will give comfort to those who served and risked so much,” she said.
The Quilts of Valor project is a non-profit organization that strives to let all soldiers who are touched by war know they are appreciated through a personal, handmade gift of a quilt. The organization began in 2003, and since then, 65,000 quits have been made and presented, according to the website www.qovf.org. Quilts are “generous lap sized quilts measuring at least 55 x 65 inches. The public is welcome to attend the presentation, and a reception will follow, according to VFW Ladies Auxiliary leader Pearl White.
Finally, on Monday, Nov. 2, Great Bend Regional Hospital will host a free breakfast for veterans and their spouses from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. , and the VFW will have a flag dedication ceremony starting at 9 a.m. The hospital asks that attendees use the east side parking lot and enter through the Emergency Room entrance.