Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Johnson County Veterans Day observance will carry on its traditional recognition of local veterans on Wednesday, Nov. 11, beginning at 11 a.m. Considering the pandemic, organizers have gotten creative with this year’s ceremony. It will be available online only in observance of guidelines for reducing/containing the spread of the coronavirus.
Plans include a special tribute to local World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the end to the war and the Holocaust. Leading up to the event, the county is featuring brief profiles of more than local 60 living Johnson County WWII veterans on its social media platforms (@jocogov) and online at jocogov.org/JoCoHonorsVets.
“To be sure this will be a very different celebration to ensure the health and safety of local veterans, their families and friends, participants and attendees, but no less meaningful,” said Chairman Ed Eilert, Johnson County Board of County Commissioners.
The Veterans Day celebration will feature pre-recorded videos of traditional participation, including posting of colors by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Honor Guard, singing and musical performances, a video message from Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, wreath presentations by local veteran organizations, the playing of “Taps” and a rifle salute.
Chairman Ed Eilert will serve as the in-person emcee for the program. Judy Jacobs, a Holocaust survivor, will also present her comments on video.
The county’s annual celebration, dating back to 1987, has traditionally taken place on the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month. The 2020 observance will live streamed on boccmeetings.jocogov.org and Facebook Live.