Kansas town holds longest-running Veterans Day celebration

KENSINGTON, Kan. (KWCH) The town of Kensington held its 100th Veterans Day celebration Saturday.

Over the last 100 years, the town has only canceled twice. Once during World War II and once because of a blizzard.

Kensington holds a Veterans Day parade, a dance at the American Legion, and invites a guest speaker. This year, it's a bagpiper who played on the beaches of Normandy during the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

"100 years ago, it started with just a celebration meal the town put together. Just kind of spur of the moment," said Erica Barnes, Kensington Library Director.

The town still holds a meal using the same recipes from 100 years ago. Darold Grauerholz has helped cook for more than half of them.

"I've been doing this for 51 years now," said Grauerholz .

They cook roast beef the night before, and start cooking navy beans at 5 a.m. All to celebrate veterans like Irwin Jacobs who was in the Signal Corps during World War II.

"I enlisted because they promised to send me to school for nine months," said Jacobs. "I thought the war would be over in nine months and I'd come home free. But that didn't happen."

He says celebrations like this one make him proud of his accomplishments.

"I still have a little bit of pride. I'm pretty proud of the work we've done," said Jacobs.