LONG BEACH, Wash. - The Loyalty Days Association has announced details of its 53rd annual Loyalty Days, May 3 and 4. This year's theme is "Patriotism; Then, Now and Forever."

Guests include retired Gen. John Shalikashvili, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff between 1993 and 1997.

Scott Mandrell from St. Charles, Mo., portraying Capt. Meriwether Lewis, in full dress uniform, also will appear.

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. Those interested in hosting a table, should contact Bob or Judi Andrew at (360) 642-4441.

Applications for Miss Loyalty and her court are being accepted through the Ilwaco High School office. Coronation for the Junior Court will be at 7 p.m. April 25. The Miss Loyalty coronation is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 26 at the Hilltop auditorium.

On May 3, events will include a Kid's Parade in Ilwaco at noon. The annual Loyalty Days parade will be held 1 p.m. May 4.

Shalikashvili was born in Poland in 1936. He served in Vietnam in 1968 and '69 as an adviser and later led the 9th Infantry from 1987 to 1989. He was deputy commander in chief of the U.S. Army in Europe from 1989 to 1991 and commander of NATO forces from 1992 to 1993.

After the Persian Gulf War in 1991, he commanded an international force that protected and airlifted food to Kurds of northern Iraq. In 1993, Shalikashvili became the first foreign-born chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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