German, Italian POWs honored at ceremony
German officer Col. Michael Oberneyer speaks during a memorial ceremony Nov. 14 to honor German and Italian prisoners of war who were buried in Fort Riley's cemetery.

Fort Riley, Kan. - The wind blew through the Post Cemetery, ruffling the German and Italian flags that proudly marked graves of Franz Muehllechner, Cesare V. Ciccone, Adolph Drengemann, Benvenuto Calvano, and other German and Italian prisoners of war.

Nov. 14 marked the day chosen to honor those prisoners of war who were buried on foreign soil. At 11 a.m. a small gathering consisting of German and Italian representatives from Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Fort Riley representatives and spectators braved the chill in the air to watch the ceremony.
To honor their comrades, the German and Italian officers from Fort Leavenworth spoke during the ceremony.

The first foreign officer to speak was German officer Col. Michael Oberneyer, who was followed by Italian officer Capitain Franco del Favero. Both officers are liaisons of their respective countries to the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth.

In addition to the officers' speeches, the POWs were honored by the playing of the German "Ich Hatt' Einen Kameraden" and "Silencio," from Italy.

Wreaths were laid in the graveyard by the delegations, followed by a rifle salute and the playing of taps.

Page last updated Fri November 21st, 2008 at 17:08