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Johnson County to hold annual Veterans Day observance in Overland Park

The 2017 Johnson County Veterans Day observance is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Korean War Veterans Memorial at 119th Street and Lowell Avenue, Overland Park.           

Activities will begin at 11 a.m. saluting all veterans from all wars, including World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Seating is limited to 375 and parking is limited.

Special guests will be veterans of the Korean War, including 32 veterans who will receive Ambassador for Peace Medals by the Republic of Korea, commonly called South Korea. Consul General Jong-Kook Lee from the Republic of Korea Embassy in Chicago will present the medals and be among the featured speakers.

Sgt. Roger Martinez from the Kansas Army National Guard will deliver the keynote speech. He is a chemical noncommissioned officer with the 35th Infantry Division. During his military service, which began in 2011, he was deployed to the Republic of Korea from 2014 to 2015.

Other speakers will include:

  • Lt. Colonel Kyunghwan Jung, South Korean Army Liaison officer to the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth
  • Ed Eilert, chairman of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners, who will serve as emcee          

Parking will be available at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center, 11902 Lowell Avenue, adjacent to the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 7851 West 119th Street, which is located across Lowell Avenue directly east of the memorial site.           

The public event is being organized in partnership with the Korean War Veterans Association Chapter No. 181, Lenexa; the Korean War Veterans Association Chapter No. 43, Kansas City, Mo.; Jewish War Veterans, Mo-Kan Post No. 605; the city of Overland Park; and the Kansas Army National Guard.

Other organizations participating in the program include:

  • Olathe American Legion Earl Collier Post 153
  • Overland Park’s American Legion Post 370 and VFW Post 846
  • Kansas City Metro Chapter of the American GI Forum
  • Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 243 in Kansas and Missouri
  • Disabled American Veterans Chapter 34 in Overland Park

The celebration marks Johnson County’s 31st anniversary of sponsoring an annual Veterans Day observance.

Johnson County’s annual Veterans Day observance began in 1987 with a public celebration on the south steps of the Johnson County Courthouse before moving to the Kansas National Guard Armory in Olathe from 1995 to 2006.          

Since 2007, the county event has occurred at veteran memorial sites throughout Johnson County, including the cities of Olathe, Overland Park, Merriam, Lenexa, Gardner and the New Century AirCenter.         

More information about the Veterans Day event is available at 913-715-0430.