The federal government shutdown has moved the Kansas Department of American Legion's annual tribute to the Sunflower state’s only U.S. president to a local church.
The 32nd annual Eisenhower Pilgrimage will still be held Saturday, though not at it's tradition location at the Eisenhower Museum and Library grounds.
The shutdown effectively cancelled a planned wreath laying at the statue of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“Sure it’s a disappointment, but that's OK,” said John Meyeres, Eisenhower Day committee chair. “We normally hold it under the statue and that's really powerful to me.”
Meyeres said the important thing is that the ceremony will still take place beginning at 10:30 Saturday morning at the First United Methodist Church, 601 N. Cedar St. An estimated 150 to 200 attendees are still expected for the event.
The contingency planning began in late September as the likelihood of a government shutdown became real, according to Meyeres. The final decision to move the pilgrimage came early last week.
Alan Arwine, a political science professor at the University of Kansas, will serve as the keynote speaker. The professor has spent extensive time researching the leadership styles of various presidents.
A homecoming luncheon for American Legion Department Vice Commander Emery McKimmy will also take place at the First United Methodist Church following the ceremony.