FORT RILEY (KSNT) – On Memorial Day, people across the country are mourning and honoring their lost loved ones. In Kansas, Ft. Riley held a celebration of its own to commemorate its fallen soldiers.
Service members, government officials and gold star family members gathered Monday at the Ft. Riley Post Cemetery. Speeches were given, weapons were fired and tears were shed as people gathered to remember those who served and lost their lives. Kansas Senator and former service member Roger Marshall said this group went through it all.
“People need to understand the Big Red One army is always the first one there in battle, and the last one to leave,” Marshall said. “Whether it was World War I, World War II, or Vietnam, Desert Storm, that when the President needs somebody, he can count on the first infantry division,”
The Big Red One Army team was deployed as early as 1917 in WW I and as recent as 2006 in the War on Terror.
“President Calvin Coolidge, dedicated the first infantry division monument to the some 5,000 Big Red One soldiers that died during World War I, since then its been updated after World War II, after Vietnam, after Desert Storm, but it hasn’t been updated since 9/11,” Senator Marshall said.
Marshall said that he has been in talks with congress to pass a bill to update the memorial for the past five years. A year from Monday, and 100 years after its original dedication, the Big Red One monument in D.C. will be updated with 631 new names of soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice.