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Fort Riley Remembers Former Enemies, Fallen POWs in Memorial Ceremony

German-Italian POW memorial service held at Fort Riley on Thursday, November 16, 2017. (Photo from the Big Red One)

During World War II, Fort Riley was one of hundreds of locations across the United States selected to house German, Italian and Japanese prisoners of war.  Last week, in a special ceremony, Fort Riley honored the POWs who died in captivity and remain buried at the U.S. Army post.  KPR's J. Schafer reports.

 A wreath-laying ceremony also took place at Fort Riley during Thursday's memorial service.

During the Second World War, approximately 4,500 POWs were housed at Fort Riley -- one of 16 POW camps in Kansas.  Every year, the fort holds a ceremony to remember the POWs, especially those who died in captivity.  The speakers at this year's service included officers from two of the countries America fought against: Germany and Italy.  German Army Colonel Carsten Doding (DOUGH-ding) expressed his appreciation to Fort Riley for holding the memorial.. and remembering the war dead among America's former enemies.
     "They are not forgotten," Doding said.  "This peaceful site, where so many have found their last resting place, gives the dead back their dignity... and the living a place to mourn." 
Sixty-two Germans and 11 Italian soldiers are buried at Fort Riley.  I'm J. Schafer.


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