Emporia, Kansas is a bastion of hope in the American Midwest. If you are looking for a place to reaffirm your faith in our great nation then this is the stop for you. The moment you roll into their historic downtown you’ll see people greeting one another on the street like brothers and sisters. As our guides took us around to see the sights we stopped every few minutes to talk with people on the street. By the end of our two days there we knew most of the people by name.
Every week Emporia has a smorgasbord of activities. From local music downtown, to their great American band, to the march of flags, and their Brown Bag children’s lunch, Emporia offers great things events for the community. For Emporia, the American spirit isn’t a weekend activity, it is a way of life. All throughout the year there are civic rallies and public meetings going on.
Some of Emporia’s proudest moments have been it’s historical stands against slavery and in the promotion of Free Speech and free of press. They have worked as a community for generations to keep the ideas of our founding fathers alive and current.
The crown jewel of Emporia though, is that it is the founding city of Veterans Day. Right after World War II a shoe cobbler in Emporia named Alvin King wanted a day to give respect and to honor the sacrifice of his buddies coming home from WWII. His actions spurred a local US representative, Ed Rees (also from Emporia) to act. In 1954 President Dwight Eisenhower signed the first Veteran’s Day into law, while Emporia had celebrated it a year beforehand.
That bold pioneering spirit and support of military continues in Emporia today. They are a community that recognizes that peace is often harder than war, and they strive to make an welcoming environment that soldiers can come home to after war time. An environment that allows them to feel honored and able to build our nation back up from the home-front.
All of this on top of a zoo that is working hard to promote species breeding programs, a great deal of museums designed for the preservation of historical artifacts from the pioneer and Civil War eras, and active art scenes make the issues of today relatable and vibrant.
Emporia is a magical small town that carries the American dream in their hearts.