During renovation of the Riley County Courthouse in the mid 1980’s the commemorative plaques bearing the names of World War I and World War II veterans were removed from the Courthouse. In 1990 members of the Manhattan American Legion and the Manhattan Veterans of Foreign Wars requested that the commemorative plaques be re-installed. After discussion with the Riley County Commission it was decided that it would be better to develop a Riley County Armed Forces Memorial on the Courthouse grounds. In December 1992 the Riley County Commission appointed Charles Arthur, Burke Bayer and Dick Jepson to an Armed Forces Memorial Committee. Two charges were given to this committee, first to develop an Armed Forces Memorial and second to plan for an annual Veterans Day program. The Riley County Commission provided the site and design for the memorial and the Manhattan American Legion and Manhattan Veterans of Foreign Wars raised the funds necessary for its construction. Kansas State University students Mark Wilcox, Amy Homoloy and Mark Connelly won the design competition for the memorial. The Riley County Armed Forces Memorial was dedicated November 11, 1992.
After the dedication, area veterans decided that an ongoing organization was needed to plan for annual Veterans Day activities and the Flint Hills Veterans Coalition was formed. Representatives from all the area veterans’ organizations and all interested individuals were invited to join.
Colonel Tom Fryer - Grand Marshall at the Peace Memorial Auditorium - November 11, 2022
Colonel Tom Fryer graduated from the United States Air Force Academy is now a retired United States Air Force pilot. Col Fryer flew missions over Vietnam, dodging enemy surface-to-air missiles that looked like deadly "flying telephone poles," has seen a thing or two. He flew the F-4C Phantom during the war - he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal - and notes that he was lucky.
While many realize that Veterans Day, which always falls on November 11, is a day to honor our Veterans, few realize the historical significance behind the day.Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day and marked the end of hostilities of World War I that occurred at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. Therefore, the day is always recognized on November 11th, regardless of the day of the week the 11th In 1919. President Wilson commemorated the first Armistice Day with these words:
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
The day was originally set aside to honor the Veterans of World War I with a day of parades and remembrances as well as a pause in activities at 11am.
The Veterans Day parade held in Manhattan is our State's largest celebration of service. It is sponsored by the Flint Hills Veterans Coalition offering the public the opportunity to show their support for those who serve on our nation's most visible stage. To conduct the parade the Flint Hills Veterans Coalition works in partnership with the Kansas State Army ROTC, Ft. Riley, USO, and other organizations. We are thankful for the tremedndous support of those who participate and those who donate to honor those who have given so much.
The Flint Hills Veterans Coalition has established scholarships to recognize the academic dedication and leadership of student Veterans. The scholarships will be awarded to a student(s) who demonstrates academic commitment, leadership, and financial need. The recipient must be:
a. Any US military serving or honorably discharged Veteran.
b. A student in good standing in accordance with the academic criteria of the educational institution during the academic period for which the financial award is made.
$1,000 each fall and spring to full time to K-State Veteran students.
$1,000 annually to Manhattan Area Technical College Veterans
$1,000 annually to Manhattan Christian College Veterans
The application forms may be obtained from each institution.
Membership is open to Veterans, spouses of Veterans, or those related to a Veteran. Meetings are open to all and are currently held at St. Thomas More Utopia Room (2900 Kimball Avenue, Manhattan) on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from March through November.
The FHVC provides a biscuit and gravy breakfast from 7:00 am to 9:00 am Veterans Day morning at the Manhattan American Legion, 114 McCall Road.
An Indoor Ceremony is held following the Parade in the Peace memorial Auditorium and asistance in conducting the ceremony is always appreciated. There are many other activities that you can be a part of.
1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley
American legion Post 17
Association of the United States Army
Barry Clark Attorney at Law
Briggs Auto Group
Candlewood Veterinary Clinic
Charlson Wilson Bonded Abstractors
Chuck and Melody Sexton
City of Manhattan
Coldwell Banker Realty Group One
Corvias Military Living
D & R Construction
DAV Junction City
Dick’s Pawn Shop
Donald and Hazel Parrish Donor Advised Fund with
the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation
Downtown Manhattan Inc.
Greater Manhattan Community Foundation
Jack and Dicks Pawn Shop
Jack Goldstein Charitable Trust with the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation
Kansas State University Air Force ROTC
Kansas Riley County Commission
Knights of Columbus Assembly 288 4th Degree
KSU Army ROTC
KSU Office of Military and Veterans Affairs
Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce
Manhattan Broadcasting (KMAN, K-ROCK, B 1 04.7, Z96.3}
Manhattan Parks & Recreation Department
Manhattan Town Center Mall
Mike and Sandy Kearns
Military Relations Committee
Orazem and Scalera Engineering
The Damien & Stacy Hooper Family
The Richard Givens Family
The Walmart Foundation and Manhattan Walmart
Thomas Signs and Graphics
USO Fort Riley