Archive for Thursday, May 6, 2004

VFW honors America on Loyalty Day

Veterans could bring new parade to Basehor next year

May 6, 2004

Regardless of whether one agrees with U.S. policies on military involvement overseas, there should be no question of the public's support of troops away from home fighting, Bob Wiley says.

"(The troops) are not over there because they want to be," said Wiley, commander of Basehor's Veterans of Foreign Wars post. "They're over there because they feel it's necessary.

"We may not always be right, but we're always American."

On Saturday morning, members of the Basehor VFW, post 11499, participated in the Loyalty Day parade in Bonner Springs. Veterans Harry Kelley, Wilbur Grisham, Donald Wiley and Fred Box joined their post commander in the parade, which also featured former servicemen from posts in Tonganoxie, Bonner Springs, Overland Park, Shawnee and Kansas City, Kan.

Loyalty Day began in the early 1900s but was not officially recognized until the 1950s. It is a national day of observance during which citizens reaffirm patriotism to their country and show appreciation to the fighting men and women overseas.

It's a notion Wiley says is important but doesn't need to happen just once a year.

"We should do that every day," he said.

"Those of us who have been in the service feel that way, possibly more than those who haven't."

Next year, Basehor VFW members may not have to travel to Bonner Springs to recognize Loyalty Day. Wiley said post members discussed a Loyalty Day parade in Basehor next year during their last meeting.

"Those that were there seemed to think it was a good idea," Wiley said. "I'm quite sure it will happen."

Next up for the Basehor VFW is participating in the Leavenworth Memorial Day parade May 31.

Taking part in the parade is another way the Basehor veterans can honor both veterans who fought for their country in the past as well as those doing so now.

"Absolutely," Wiley said. "They're doing what they feel is right and what they're told to do."

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