Veterans And Families Gather At Great Overland Station For Memorial Day

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- A few hundred veterans and their families gathered at Great Overland Station for Memorial Day.

A line of a few hundred veterans, families and friends wrapped around Great Overland Station for a free BBQ and veterans also received a special treat.

U.S. Air Force veteran Royce Diao says he is honoring his father and brother-in-law who served the country.

"It's very important to recognize them," said Royce.

"We come here to honor our fallen comrades," said Topeka Mayor Larry Wolgast.

As a token of appreciation, veterans received challenge coins.

"Memorial Day is about those who have served that have past and who are protecting our country and what freedom means to us," said solider, Brandon Hill.

"It's to honor them because a lot of them lost their lives to protect us, and give us the freedom that we enjoy today," said Royce.

Veterans who'd never met sat side by side, and told their experiences at war.

"Sharing stories, especially this fellow here from WWII, getting his experiences and the fellow over here," said veteran Walter Laughlin.

Royce says he is grateful to pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

"We appreciate it," said Royce.

Governor Sam Brownback, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts and Kansas Adjutant General Lee Tafanelli also shared remarks at the event.

The event was sponsored by Grace Hospice and Topeka Chapter Military Order of the World Wars.