All Veterans Memorial
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
~Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
The United States of America was founded on principles of liberty. Early colonists came to our shores seeking the freedom to worship as they believed; others sought economic and personal liberty. Our first military forces were commissioned in 1776 to fight for freedom from the British and to establish our independent nation.
The All Veterans Memorial at the Great Overland Station honors all members of U.S. military services, past and present, who sacrificed their service, and sometimes their lives, to defend our nation and the principles of “liberty and justice for all”. The centerpiece of this grand Memorial represents the Flame of Liberty, sculpted in metals and surrounded by black granite. At the base of the Memorial are several rows of engraved bricks honoring Kansas Medal of Honor recipients (including “Buffalo Bill” Cody!), along with bricks honoring many veterans.
Walking north from the All Veterans Memorial toward the historic Great Overland Station you enter the Corridor of Flags, a display of 50 flagpoles, each flying the flag of one of the 50 states, which spread east and west to form a broad Plaza: the BNSF Railway Plaza. The separate states and the nation as a whole are honored through this display, reminding us that the United States of America is “One Nation, Under God”. You will find interesting facts about each state on the base of the flagpoles. Through the center of the Plaza are more engraved bricks honoring service members, railroad workers and loved ones.
To the south of the Memorial is the Ceremonial Flagpole. The 60-foot high pole displays a United States flag, a State of Kansas flag, and a POW/MIA flag. Special appreciation is extended to the American Legion Post 410, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation for sponsoring this important feature of the All Veterans Memorial.
As you visit this special place, take time to contemplate and appreciate the sacrifices of the brave men and women who have fought for the liberty of our nation and its citizens, and for liberty for many around the world.
“I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”
-- General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander,
June 6, 1944, “Order of the Day” letter provided to each soldier on D-Day.
Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, 1953-1961, was a native of
Abilene, Kansas. Coincidentally, Kansas was the 34th state to join the Union,1861.
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, WE-TA-SE American Legion Post 410
The Ceremonial Flagpole located to the south of the All Veterans Memorial is 60-feet high and displays a 12'x18' United States flag, a 5'x8' Kansas flag, and a 4'x6' POW/MIA flag. It will be the location for many events and, due to its height and large flags, will be easily visible from many parts of the city. Special appreciation is extended to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, WE-TA-SE American Legion Post 410 for sponsoring this important feature of the All Veterans Memorial.
Medal of Honor Recipients
Special Display for Medal of Honor Recognition Bricks
A special group of American heroes are those who are recognized as recipients of the Medal of Honor. The initial display of bricks with the names of Medal of Honor recipients that have a Kansas connection totals forty-four in number.
The Bravest of the Brave
Civil War 1861-1865
Lorenzo D. Immell Army Conrad Schmidt Army
Indian War 1864-1870
James T. Daniels Army John Haddoo, Jr. Army Fred S. Hay Army David Holland Army
Frederick O. Hunt Army John W. Knox Army John A. Poppe Army Hampton M. Roach Army Henry Rodenburg Army William F. Cody Army
Philippine Insurrection 1898-1902
Arthur M. Ferguson Army Frederick Funston, Sr. Army Joseph Henderson Army
John A. Huntsman Army William B. Trembley Army Samuel S. Triplett Navy
George W. Wallace Army Edward White Army
Mexican Border 1916
Paul F. Foster Navy
World War I 1917-1919
John H. Balch Navy Erwin R. Bleckley Army AS Harold I. Johnston Army
George H. Mallon Army George S. Robb Army
World War II 1940-1946
Richard E. Cowan Army Walter D. Ehlers Army William D. Hawkins USMC
Willy F. James, Jr. Army Leon W. Johnson Army AC Thomas E. McCall Army
Forrest E. Peden Army Donald K. Ross Navy
Harold W. Bauer USMC Frant F. Timmerman USMC
Korean War 1950-1952
Stanley T. Adams Army Jack A. Davenport USMC
Danny J. Petersen Army Riley L. Pitts Army William L. McGonagle Navy
Roger H. C. Donlon Army Charles C. Hagemeister Army Donald E. Ballard Navy
Compliments to everyone who has provided planning and financial assistance to building of the great All Veterans Memorial at the Great Overland Station in historic North Topeka. The Memorial, along with the Corridor of Flags, BNSF Plaza and Ceremonial Flagpole, will serve as a place of honor to remember those who have served and those who will serve as members of the uniformed services of the United States. You are invited to visit often.
Jack Strukel, Major General, USA (Retired). Co-Chairman of the All Veterans Memorial Planning Committee and Member, Railroad Heritage, Inc., Board of Directors
The All Veterans Memorial will help keep alive the memory of those who have sacrificed in the service of our country, especially those who gave their lifeblood for the common welfare. The Memorial monument is an expression of gratitude to those who have served and it will preserve their spirit of service as an inspiration for future generations.
Jim Gravenstein, Navy, Korean War, Past National Vice-Commander, The American Legion and Co-Chairman of the All Veterans Memorial Planning Committee
It makes me so proud to be part of the Veterans Committee that has worked so very hard to assist in building the All Veterans Memorial as a lasting tribute to all veterans of all times in the history of our nation. Of special importance was my opportunity to promote funding for the beautiful 60-foot ceremonial flagpole.
Roy Hale, Former US Army, Currently Adjutant of American Legion Post 410, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation
The All Veterans Memorial will be a wonderful way of paying tribute to veterans and those serving in uniform. It has been a pleasure to serve on the Veterans Planning Committee, and I know the All Veterans Memorial will make us all proud.
Jack L. Elliott, Command Sergeant Major, USA, Retired
The All Veterans Memorial at the Great Overland Station location will recognize and honor those that have served, are serving, and will serve this country to help keep the freedoms we all enjoy.
Raymond Remp, Sr., Technical Sergeant, USAF (retired)
The All Veterans Memorial being built at the Great Overland Station in Topeka, Kansas, is a truly fitting tribute to all veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much in the service of our great nation. Appreciation is extended to those who have helped make this Memorial a reality.
Gary Slimmer, USAF (1959-1963)
Retired teacher and school administrator
The magnificent display of flags as part of the All Veterans Memorial reinforces the proud commitment of those who have served and continue to serve in uniform. This Memorial will make us all proud, and serve as another avenue to education of youth on service to nation and mankind.
Michael C. Welch, 1st Lieutenant, US Army, Vietnam War and current President of BRB Contractors in Topeka, Kansas
The All Veterans Memorial is a wonderful idea to honor veterans and their families, plus the city of Topeka. It will serve to be a focal point for many gatherings, as a place for visitors to remember, and a place of learning. Let us support this important project with our time, effort and finances.
Dale Vaughn, Sergeant, USAF, Served in German following World War II, Currently an active author. The picture sketch to the right was done by a Munich Art Student during the occupation of Germany.
Kansans and all Americans must never forget the heroism and dedication to the United States of America and those who have served and continue to serve in the armed forces of our nation. This beautiful All Veterans Memorial will assist the living and future generations in honoring all veterans in our thoughts, in our words, and in our daily lives.
Chaplain (Colonel) Roy W. Browning, Jr., USAF (Retired)
The building of the All Veterans Memorial is important as we honor the courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country of all veterans for the freedoms we enjoy.
Donald Debarge, Chief Warrant Officer 2, USMC (Retired)
The All Veterans Memorial being constructed at the Great Overland Station located in North Topeka represents a wonderful way to remember the sacrifices of our service men and women, plus their families. This Memorial will be beautiful and should attract many visitors. One of our challenges will be the maintenance required in the forms of flag replacements and Memorial repairs in the future. Your contributions towards this maintenance will be greatly appreciated. Please mail donations to the "AVM and Flag Maintenance Fund", c/o The Great Overland Station, PO Box 8792, Topeka, Kansas 66608. Thanks for your help.
Thomas Kennedy, Brigadier General, USA (Retired)
The All Veterans Memorial is a stunning visual testament to the courage, ability and sacrifice of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. This memorial, placed in the magnificent historical setting of the Great Overland Station, bonds the past to the present and provides a timeless example, so aptly demonstrated by the veterans honored here, of placing sacred values above self in order to secure freedom and liberty for all. The All Veterans Memorial challenges each succeeding generation to do the same.
Colonel Dan Welch, USMC (Retired)Veteran of Iraqi Freedom
As a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I can tell you that it is memorials such as this that honor the memory of all veterans, past and present. While they are gone, it is our solemn duty to make sure they are never ever forgotten. Semper Fi!
Ron Brown, Chief Warrant Officer 4, USMCR