FORT RILEY, Kan. (WIBW) -- Local police officers and firefighters stood with service men and women at Fort Riley Tuesday to remember the thousands killed in the 9/11 attacks eleven years ago and the thousands of soldiers who’ve died while defending our nation since that horrific day.
A ceremony was held at a monument on the fort that replicates the Twin Towers.
"The enemy thought they could change who we are and change our way of life and make us live in fear- in fear of our country and our brothers and sisters across the world but today, we’re standing stronger than ever. They did not and they will not condemn us to fear or failure," Brigadier General Don MacWillie, Fort Riley Senior Commander, said during the ceremony.
This year’s ceremony honored 16 soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan since August 2011. Their names were etched into the Global War on Terrorism Monument, located in front of Fort Riley's U.S. Cavalry Museum.
"Each of them represents our community. They represent our values, our dreams and our everlasting pride and admiration," MacWillie said of the fallen heroes.
The soldiers were either assigned to Fort Riley or mobilized through the installation before heading to deployments.
The name of Sergeant Erik May was among the 16 added. The 26-year-old Wichita native died in Afghanistan in July.
"I don’t want people to forget. There’s been too many people that have died. The attitude people have nowadays, it’s like you hear that somebody died and nobody cares anymore. The war’s been going on too long. These are people’s wives, husbands, sons, daughters," said Carla Kryston, May's mother.
There are now more than 200 names of fallen Fort Riley soldiers on the monument- a constant reminder that some made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country