Washburn celebrates veterans and century mark of WWI

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Washburn invited students, the public and of course veterans to a ceremony on Friday celebrating Veterans Day and a century since the end of World War I.

"You're preserving history,” Keynote speaker and Kansas National Guard veteran Angela Gray said. “The way we do the American way of life in a sense."

Members of the Washburn-Rural band and Topeka High JROTC Drill Team joined in paying tribute to veterans.

“That means that a lot of men have passed away previously and made this country free for us to live in," Air Force veteran Jared Workman said.

Orange balloons were sent into the sky and orange flowers were placed on a memorial to honor those who fell victim to Agent Orange.

Along with remembering those veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice, they celebrated 100 years since WWI and how far military service has come.

"We’re continually evolving and modernizing, but if we went back 100 years would want to do this? Probably not,” Gray said. “If you ask the people that were there 100 years ago to do it the way we do it now, they would probably look at us like we're crazy too."

Gray also said passing on the history to younger people is just as important.

"My grandpa never told his story until the very end and we only got bits and pieces,” Gray said. “Our stories need to get out so that our children understand where we're coming from."