Former enemies, now allies, gather to honor dead from World War II

Nov 22, 2013 1013

by Roy Wenzl

Carsten Treder, an officer wearing the gray uniform of the German army, stepped forward Thursday and spoke to other soldiers freezing in the Kansas wind near him.

At his feet were two neat rows of the graves of 62 German soldiers, decorated on this day with the red, gold and black flags of the German nation. Nearby were the graves of 11 Italian soldiers.

They were all prisoners here when our nations were enemies in World War II. It was cold Thursday in the post cemetery at Fort Riley, and the American soldiers holding rifles for the 21-gun salute were straining at attention, trying not to shake in 34-degree temperatures with a stiff north wind making it feel colder.

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