Fort Riley To Hold German And Italian Memorial Ceremony

FORT RILEY, Kan. – A wreath-laying ceremony for former German and Italian prisoners of war takes place at the Fort Riley cemetery Nov. 16 at 10 a.m.

The annual ceremony is held in remembrance of the POWs who lived and worked at Fort Riley between 1943 and 1946, specifically the 62 Germans and 11 Italians now buried here.

German Army Col. Carsten Döding and Italian Army Lt. Col. Antonio Laudando will be guest speakers at the event. Both officers are currently stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

In 1943, War Department officials established Fort Riley as one of 600 locations across the United States selected to house German, Italian and Japanese POWs. The camps became home for 350,000 prisoners—enough to man 35 German army divisions; approximately 4,500 were held at Fort Riley.

The POWs filled a labor void on area farms, working on roads, laundry and building maintenance projects. Prisoners earned about 80 cents a day. After the war, some of the POWs chose to stay in the local area to live and work.

The German and Italian Memorial Ceremony is open to the public. Those attending who don’t have a Department of Defense ID card must stop by the Henry Gate visitor’s center (I-70, exit 301) to get a one-day pass. Learn more by clicking on the yellow “Accessing Fort Riley” button on the right-hand side of the page at www.riley.army.mil or by calling 785-239-3138.

SHARE
Previous articleKansas Volleyball Association Releases All-State Teams & Awards
Next articleConcordia Man Injured In Single Vehicle Accident

Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communication. After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations. In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 70 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing.