A new event at Emporia State University helps kick off the 2018 All Veterans Tribute Week, designed to celebrate Emporia as the Official Founding City of Veterans Day.
A Community Flag Celebration at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, in front of Plumb Hall is the first of three events themed to Veterans Day.
“We are truly wanting to kick off the All Veterans Month of November at Emporia State University with celebrating one of the largest flags in town,” said Jose L. Feliciano Jr., director of alumni relations for ESU, which organized the event.
The event includes the Emporia Marching Hornets presenting the “Star Spangled Banner,” Boy Scouts leading the Pledge of Allegiance and remarks from featured speaker retired Army Lt. Col. William “Bill” McKernan, assistant director of ESU Facilities, administration and building services.
The celebration includes a special presentation to ESU from the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. The recognition came after members of the Kansas Society of SAR began meeting quarterly in the Art Bloomer Veterans Hall of Honor in the Memorial Union.
We have long noticed and appreciated Emporia State University’s efforts to proudly display the United States Flag,” said Bryan Wampler, ESU alumnus and member of the Kansas Society SAR.
“As recognition of those patriotic efforts, Kansas Society President Dennis Nelson on behalf of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution will present a ‘Certificate of Commendation’ in recognition of exemplary patriotism in the display of the Flag of the United States of America.”
Referred to as a “flag certificate,” Wampler said the commendation is the highest honor given to individuals, companies and government entities flying the U.S. flag for patriotic purposes.
Events to honor veterans continue Saturday afternoon as veterans are special guests at the ESU football game against Missouri Southern State University. All active duty, badge wearing, service men and women — military, police, fire and emergency services — and veterans receive free admission to the game. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.
Two additional events at Emporia State are part of the All Veterans Tribute in Emporia. On Wednesday, Nov. 7, and Thursday, Nov. 8, ESU Special Collections and Archives, Department of Communication and Theatre, Department of Social Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Lyon County History Center present “Emporia’s Company L in World War I.”
In this reader's theatre program, ESU Educational Theatre Company members Thaddaeus E.G., Ryan Wollum and Greyson Waltmire will bring the stories of World War I veterans Col. Arthur Ericsson, Lt. Col. Ellis Christensen, and Cpl. Andrew Fry to life. Scripts were adapted by Prof. Theresa Mitchell from interviews conducted for the Flint Hills Oral History Project.
Performances will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7 in the Sauder Alumni Center and at 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8 in the Learning Commons on the main floor of William Allen White Library.
Later on Nov. 8, the Veterans Roundtable features Tyler Johnson speaking on “World War I: The 1918 Pandemic World’s Deadliest Flu.” The free event begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Preston Family Room of the Memorial Union.
Retired Army Staff Sgt. Leon D. Bryson, a student at ESU, will present an introduction. The Roundtable is sponsored each year by the ESU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Department of Social Sciences.