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SPOTLIGHT
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Honoring veterans and celebrating America

Published on -10/23/2012, 10:04 AM

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By ROGER EWING

Honoring our veterans is one of the causes of the Big First Tea Party. From 4 to 10 p.m. Nov. 1, we will honor our veterans at the Ellis County Fairgrounds.

Last year at our Veterans Tribute, we honored more than 100 veterans, including 20 from World War II. We had a very successful program filling the VFW Hall with a "joyful noise" of patriotic songs.

The mayor of the city of Hays proclaimed Veterans Day as "Stan Dreiling Day" for all of the tremendous works that Stan does for the veterans the whole year round.

This year Stan Dreiling is with us again with the honor guard to pay tribute to all of our veterans. Also with us will be Doug Nichols, the father of his fallen hero son, Army Chief Warrant Officer Bryan Nichols, Hays. Doug will represent our recent fallen heroes from western Kansas. It will be a memorable moment creating memories to last a lifetime.

This will take place at approximately 5:30 p.m. You don't want to miss it. We will have some of those patriotic songs that touch the heart.

Lynette Stenzel, the organizer of the Ness City veterans program, will talk about some of our recent fallen veterans.

Following this solemn event will be Vernon Steerman a 83-year-old veteran who will speak on the topic, "Duty, Honor, Country, the American Brotherhood." Vernon is a retired Army lieutenant colonel and former county attorney in western Kansas.

There will be polka and patriotic music played throughout the evening between the events.

At approximately 6:30 pm., Halloween -- what a fun time for kids of all ages to dress up in costumes. The Big First Tea Party will sponsor two costume contests, one for kids younger than 18 and one for kids at heart older than 18. A three-member panel will judge the costumes. Each category will have a winner. The winners will each receive $50. In keeping with the spirit of patriotism, the costumes need to be either historical or patriotic in nature. At 7:30 p.m. the barbershop chorus is scheduled to sing.

At 8 p.m., Dr. Paul Ibbetson, the award-winning host of "The Conscience of Kansas" radio program, will make a presentation.

At 8:15 p.m., the square dancers are scheduled to perform. These are an experienced group who will demonstrate some fancy moves. You can't miss this.

Following this exciting display, Abraham Lincoln will appear. Along with Honest Abe will be Mrs. Custer. Historians now believe Mrs. Custer's husband, Gen. George Armstrong Custer, played a decisive role in winning the Civil War for the North. We also will have a World War I soldier, who will inform us what it was like being in the war. And, a person who had a hand in winning the West will make an appearance branding his six shooters.

Sherwin Stielow, a retired Army first sergeant with two tours in Korea, will make a presentation on S.M.A.R.T., a special program for veterans. Sherwin, who is a national director of this group, will explain the many benefits of being a member.

In addition to the special events, we will have two examples of a patriot card that we can send to veterans, including wounded warriors, to express our appreciation for their military service.

Linda Gulick designed a professional-looking patriot card that everyone receiving it would appreciate. A second patriot card came from the idea of a drawing by one of Sherwin Stielow's nephews -- I thought it would be perfect for our veterans. They will be on display for you to join us in sending patriot cards to our veterans.

As a special bonus to the first 100 families to arrive at the Ellis County Fairgrounds between 4 and 5:30 p.m. will be given an autographed copy of my first of three published books, "Powerful Guide to Living the Good Life." I've sold thousands of copies at $14.95 in bookstores in the southwest. The book has positive and inspirational ideas in the pursuit of happiness. My other books, "It is Written the Shocking Downfall of the USA," was a wake-up call to Americans of what might be coming if we don't change the direction of our country. It also successfully predicted the "Arab Spring" in the Middle East. My last book, "Solving America's Debt and Deficit," is a realistic attempt of solving our country's financial problems. The last two books are available on Amazon.com. (One free book per family.)

Rounding out this special event will be a meet and greet with candidates one more time just before the Nov. 6 election. All the candidates were notified of this event several months ago. The candidates will have a booth to display their literature and other important campaign materials.

Obviously, there will be some of your favorite foods starting at 4 p.m. Karla Schuster and her friends from the Ellis County youth group will offer up her delicious German cuisine, while Charlie Dorzweiler and the Ellis County EMT group will offer BBQ foods. And Totally Delicious, the baked goods people, and Mountain Man Nuts and Fruit will be there.

I believe this will be an exciting and wholesome program for you and your family. It will be inside the Unrein Building so the weather should not be a factor. See you Nov. 1 at the Unrein.

Roger Ewing, Hays, is chairman of the Big First Tea Party.

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