A Marine Corps honor guard carries the casket of Marine Sgt. David Russell Christoff, of Springfield, Ohio, during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.. Wednesday, May 31, 2006. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
Military Veterans and the Fort Riley community gathered Sunday, with the Kansas commission on Veterans Affiars, for the ground breaking ceremony of the Kansas Veterans Cemetery at Fort Riley.
In 1999, the Kansas Legislature authorized the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs to partner with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the construction of the fourth and last veterans cemetery in Kansas.
"More than 8 years ago a group of citizens from Fort Riley and Junction City met and knew that Fort Riley was running out of space to honor and bury its veterans and we took that issue and built a coalition and developed a statewide cemetery system," says Lana Oleen, former Kansas Senator, "it will have room for 10,000 veterans, there are alot of buildings that will be built as well, we expect it to be ready and operational next year."
"I think its a great thing we should do for our veterans and fallen soldiers, they have given their lives for us and for our country and this is a fitting recognition and honor to be a part of it,"says Sam Brownback, U.S. Senator.
The total cost of the cemetery is nearly 7 million dollars. It is the first cemetery funded under the new propriation bill.