In 1946, the citizens of Manhattan approved a bond to construct a “living” memorial auditorium to honor the 2,610 Riley Countians who had served and the 101 servicemen who lost their lives in the war. The national trend at the time was to construct a memorial that would have a use and serve the community, i.e. a “living” memorial. The memorial auditorium was completed and dedicated in 1955, which was Manhattan’s centennial year. Early settlers were added to the dedication. City offices, fire station, police department, municipal court and jail were later additions to the original project.
Through discussions with the City Commission and efforts of the Peace Memorial Committee, a project was created to build a memorial wall dedicated to the soldiers from Riley County who served in WWII. Plans are currently in the works to renovate the stage and build an interactive kiosk displaying historical information.
There is a dedicated web page with lots of great historical and biographical information regarding Peace Memorial Auditorium at www.peacememorial101.org
Do you have information to share about someone from Riley County who served in WWII? Please fill out this form and we will contact you for any additional information or questions we may have. You may also contact Kiel in the City Manager's Office at (785) 587-2404.