By Ryan Richardson
JOPLIN, Mo. —
A number of ceremonies over the next few days will commemorate Veterans Day, which is Sunday, Nov. 11.
Joplin’s annual Veterans Day parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, with a free concert from the Joplin High School band at Memorial Hall directly after the parade. The parade will start at 15th and Main streets and run toward Memorial Hall.
Howard Spiva, commander of American Legion Post 13, said the parade is a celebration of veterans throughout American history. There are more than 50 entries in this year’s parade.
“We march to remind ourselves and other of the price ... people paid to be free,” Spiva said. “It’s a renewal of what we share with older veterans and with the new members from recent conflicts because we all fought for this country. Those new members (from Iraq and Afghanistan) will be the face of what we do throughout the community. It’s a great feeling to march with them.”
The American Legion will also join up with VFW Post 534 for a 21-gun salute at the Wal-Mart Super Center, 2623 W. 7th St., at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Carthage will honor veterans during a ceremony that begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday when the Heartland Band will perform at Memorial Hall. The Carthage Veterans Alliance will post colors at 11 a.m. Mark Buresh, retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief, will be the guest speaker.
American Legion Post 1080 from Mahopac, N.Y., will hold a free barbecue for veterans and their families at noon Sunday at Joplin’s Memorial Hall. Post 1080 provided relief following last year’s tornado.
“They showed up with a full truck packed with things that people needed here,” Spiva said. “They showed what we should all do for each other when a disaster hits. We can’t thank them enough for what they did for the people here. They are a part of Joplin.”
Greenwood Baptist Church, 3501 Apricot Drive, will hold a veterans dinner at 4 p.m. Sunday. The dinner is free to all veterans and their families.
Pittsburg (Kan.) State University also will commemorate Veterans Day with a special ceremony at the PSU Veterans Memorial Amphitheater on Monday.
The event is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. The keynote speaker for the program will be Adina Sanchez, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves and a Family Nurse Practitioner in Pittsburg. The St. Mary’s Elementary School 6th grade band and music class will provide music and the PSU ROTC will post the colors and conduct a salute to fallen soldiers.
Missouri Southern State University will hold a rededication Tuesday for the Veteran’s Memorial on campus. A new flag honoring all branches of the U.S. military will be raised. Veterans in attendance will be invited to participate in the flag raising. The ceremony will begin at 12:45 p.m.