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Monday, October 25, 2021

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.

Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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