by Sarah Einselen
---- — With Veterans Day rolling around, the American Legion is bringing back its annual veterans dinner.
In 2012, the Legion chose to cancel the dinner because of its mounting cost, according to Legion Commander Jim Stokes. This year, he has recruited local businesses, including Walmart, two Main Street Markets and Tyson Fresh Meats, to sponsor the dinner, so veterans will again eat for free.
Stokes, himself a disabled veteran, said he was greatly pleased with the sponsors' willingness to pitch in.
The dinner will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Legion, 828 Burlington Ave. Veterans will dine for free; meals for others will be $7. Advance tickets are available by contacting Stokes at 574-753-99633 or 574-721-7946.
The menu will include pulled pork, mac'n'cheese, green beans and dessert. Volunteer DJ Joe Utter, a member of the Sons of the Legion, will provide entertainment, and there will also be 50/50 drawings.
Stokes is expecting about 200 people to attend, similar to attendance in past years.
The day before — Saturday — the American Legion Women's Auxiliary will be having a bake sale at 10 a.m. in front of Big Lots on East Market Street to raise funds for the Legion. The auxiliary will also be accepting donations of personal care items to be sent to the Indiana Veterans Home in Lafayette.
On Veterans Day itself, the Cass County Veterans Council is organizing the annual Veterans Day parade, starting with ceremonies at the clock tower of the Cass County Government Building at 10:15 a.m.
That ceremony is likely to last no longer than half an hour, according to Stokes, who's also president of the veterans council. Stokes, county commissioner Jim Sailors and Judge Thomas Perrone, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, will speak.
After that ceremony, the parade — including Grand Marshal Charles Burkes as well as high school bands from Logansport, Lewis Cass and Pioneer high schools — will proceed the wrong way up Broadway until reaching the Logansport City Building.
There, a second half-hour ceremony will take place, where Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin and Cass County Judge Rick Maughmer, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, will speak. There, local DJ Brandt Carmichael will also sing "God Bless America."
The Logansport VFW Post 3790 will serve ham and cheese sandwiches to all veterans and members of the Logansport High School marching band after the parade.
Stokes hopes to see civilians as well as veterans lining the streets for the ceremonies and parade. He said seeing others support the veterans is "very emotional" for him.
"It makes the hair stand up on the back of your head when people stand up and put their hand over their heart," Stokes said. "It means a lot to have people standing there on the side."
Sarah Einselen is news editor at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5151. Twitter: @PharosSME
If you go: WHAT: Veterans Day ceremonies and parade WHEN: First ceremony starts at 10:15 a.m. Monday WHERE: Clock tower at Cass County Government Building on Fourth Street; parade will proceed east on (different direction than traffic flow) Broadway to the Logansport City Building for a second ceremony If you go: WHAT: American Legion veterans dinner WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday WHERE: Legion Post 60, 828 Burlington Ave. COST: Free to veterans, $7 for others INFO: For advance tickets, call Jim Stokes at 574-753-9633 or 574-721-7964