This year's Veterans Day Program is set for 11:11 a.m. Saturday at the Oklahoma Veterans Memorial in Woodland Veterans Park.

This year's Veterans Day Program is set for 11:11 a.m. Saturday at the Oklahoma Veterans Memorial in Woodland Veterans Park.

At this time last year, the memorial park was still awaiting the installation of its grand finale, 10 black granite panels — each 6 feet wide, 6 feet tall, about eight inches thick and weighing 5,400 pounds — displaying the names of more than 7,000 Oklahoma military members who have died in combat since the Spanish-American War.

Ceremony

At Saturday's event, after the ringing of the Naval bell, a Posting of the Colors and the Pledge of Allegiance, the community will hear from speaker Retired Col. Pam Snider.

Messages of honor also will be delivered by Maj. Richelle Treece and from some local veterans units: Jeff Branum with Disabled American Veterans (DAV); Don Plumley with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW); and Jim Comrey with the American Legion.

The VFW Honor Guard will present a 21-gun salute and play Taps.

Following the ceremony, there will be a veteran lunch hosted by the VFW Auxiliary at Post 1317.

Veterans Memorial

According to Visit Shawnee Inc., at visitshawnee.com, the memorial site is patterned after a concept first drawn by Tom Smith, a local veteran, of a five-point star symbolizing each branch of the military.

Visitors enter through a 26,000-pound solid granite archway that includes etchings of soldiers representative of World War I and II.

Architectural plans were drawn up and submitted to SI memorial contractors out of their Tulsa field office.

The granite panels arrived from overseas –– which took several months to receive –– and the etching work was completed in Tulsa.

At that time, the estimated cost for the project was thought to be approximately $350,000 — a number that has easily been surpassed.

“I don't know how much the total cost actually is, but I estimate it to be at least more than $500,000,” Bill Ford said.

On the Pottawatomie County Veterans Memorial website, at pcvm.org, the four veterans’ organizations VFW, American Legion, DAV, and 40/8 took orders for engraved bricks, selling raffle tickets for a one-of-a-kind engraved Colt pistol, and speaking to various county-wide groups for support and financial assistance.

Scouting for Food

During the ceremony, local Boy Scouts will be collecting canned goods as part of their annual Scouting for Food drive between 10 a.m. and noon across the street from the Oklahoma Veterans Memorial in Woodland Veterans Park.