Fort Riley and the 1st Infantry Division held a Memorial Day Observance at the post cemetery on May 26, 2014 to honor those soldiers who gave their life for freedom. The ceremony was well attended by soldiers, their families, and loved ones of soldiers passed, as well as by Gov. Sam Brownback.
Major General Paul E. Funk II, Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley urged attendees not to focus on how the honored soldiers died but rather, “We should focus instead on how they lived. We stand here today, in a free and prosperous nation, because great men and women understood the meaning of selfless service. We stand here today because an honored few chose to live for something greater than themselves.”
Gov. Brownback, the keynote speaker, said, “Over one million people in uniform have died in service to our nation since the first patriotic soldiers took up arms in the 1770s. Amazing.” He went on to discuss how the history of Kansas reflects the history of the military, and how proud Kansans are to serve, and of their family members who have served. Gov. Brownback also acknowledged the Gold Star families present, and those who currently serve.
After the Memorial Day address, all stood for the laying of the wreath, followed by Taps. There was then a 21 gun salute by the Honor Guard, and a cannon salute by A Battery, 2nd Battalion, 32d Field Artillery. Amazing Grace and God Bless America were played by the 1st Infantry Division Band.