A week commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion will be held at the Eisenhower Presidential Library, June 1-6. Plan now to join in the variety of free public programs and activities. The Library will also offer free admission to all exhibits on Saturday, June 1, and Thursday, June 6.
Events kick off at noon on June 1 with World War II living history demonstrations, vintage military vehicle displays, education programs, and a Pop Up Museum. The public is encouraged to bring their WWII-related items and be a curator for the day. Library staff members will be available to help participants interpret and label their items. As a reminder, no weapons are allowed on federal property. Participants may register for the Pop Up Museum by calling the Learning and Engagement Director at 785.263.6700. WWII veteran and author Louis Graziano will speak at 3:30 p.m. in the Visitors Center Auditorium. Graziano will share stories from his recently published book, A Patriot’s Memoir of World War II.
Food vendors offering everything from bierocks to macaroni and cheese, wine slushies, and hot dogs will be on site beginning at noon for the convenience of visitors. Increase your comfort by bringing lawn chairs, blankets, and bug spray.
Symphony at Sunset is a non-ticketed #PayWhatYouCan (admission by donation) event. This includes the activities and concerts. The concerts will be moved to the Abilene High School gymnasium in the event of rain.
The outdoor concert features performances by local band Everyday Lights at 5:30 p.m., the 1st Infantry Division Band at 7 p.m., and the Salina Symphony, which will perform as the sun sets around 8:30 p.m. This year’s guest artist is Vanessa Thomas, known for her effortless range of five octaves. Her stunning performance is one you do not want to miss. Raised in Clay Center, Thomas now lives in Kansas City. She will be joining the Salina Symphony in performing a number of jazz standards as well as a powerful rendition of God Bless America.
As the commemoration week events continue June 2-6, a host of activities are planned each day. Daily activities include IKEducation programs, movies, concerts, featured speakers, and a panel of World War II veterans.
The week-long commemoration culminates on Thursday, June 6 with a Remembrance Ceremony and concert. The Remembrance Ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. near the statue of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. More than 60 WWII Veterans and “Rosie the Riveters” will be in attendance. Remarks will be given by General Richard Myers, USAF (Ret.), Former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and President, Kansas State University.
The Hope & Liberty Concert presented by Kansas State University School of Music, Theatre and Dance and the 41st Summer Choral Institute led by Bryan Pinkall wraps up the evening. The free concert begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Visitors Center auditorium with a reception following.
Daily Highlights at a Glance:
- Saturday, 6/1 at 3:30 p.m., Louis Graziano, WWII Veteran
- Sunday, 6/2 at 3 p.m., Abilene City Band Concert
- Monday, 6/3, Reception at 6:30p.m., Nigel Hamilton “FDR at War” at 7 p.m.
- Tuesday, 6/4, Reception at 6:30 p.m., Adrian Lewis “Omaha Beach” at 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, 6/5 at 12:30 p.m., Veterans Panel
- Wednesday, 6/5, Reception at 6:30 p.m., Dennis Okerstrom “War on Silent Wings” at 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, 6/5, 8:30 p.m., VFW Vigil until midnight
- Thursday, 6/6 at 9:30 a.m., D-Day Remembrance Ceremony w/60+ WWII Veterans & Rosies!
- Thursday, 6/6 at 6:30 p.m., “Hope and Liberty Concert” followed by a reception