LONG BEACH - The Loyalty Days Association announces its 53rd annual Loyalty Days event, which is set for May 3 and 4. This year's event theme is "Patriotism; Then, Now and Forever."
Heading the billing this year is Ret. General John Shalikashvili, former Chief of Staff (1993-97). Bringing the theme in from the past is Capt. Meriwether Lewis, portrayed in full dress uniform by Scott Mandrell from St. Charles, Mo.
This year's banquet will be held at the Elks Lodge in Long Beach. Invitations are required to attend the evening event, which are offered by table hosts. If you are interested in hosting a table, please contact Bob or Judi Andrew at 642-4441.
Applications for Miss Loyalty and her court are now being accepted through the Ilwaco High School office. Coronation for the Junior Court will be on April 25 at 7 p.m., and the Miss Loyalty coronation is scheduled for April 26 at 7 p.m. at the Hilltop auditorium.
On May 3 there will be a variety of events including the Kid's Parade in Ilwaco beginning at noon. The annual Loyalty Days parade will be held on May 4, with the parade starting at 1 p.m.
Shalikashvili, according to an online encyclopedia, was born in Poland in 1936. Drafted into the army, he became a commissioned officer in 1959, served in Vietnam (1968-69) as an adviser, and rose (1989) to lieutenant general. He led the 9th Infantry (1987-89) and was deputy commander in chief of the U.S. Army in Europe (1989-91) and commander of NATO forces (1992-93).
After the Persian Gulf War in 1991 he commanded an international force that airlifted food to and provided protection for the Kurds of northern Iraq. In 1993, Shalikashvili became the first foreign-born chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1993-97).