Some veterans and family members had to wait upwards of three hours to pay respects at Fort Leavenworth’s cemetery last year.
“Oh, it was not organized at all,” said Tarrsanna Floyd, who was visiting the grave of her Korean War veteran grandfather this year. “The line was out the door and we were waiting to get in and no seats, and it was not organized. It was like something they just threw together pretty much.”
This year was a drastic change. There was no line at the visitor control center and no one out of the roughly 500 people who came to the Memorial Day ceremony reported leaving because of wait times.
“It’s a lot better than it was. I guess they pretty much got it together,” said Floyd.
Though officials at the Army base wouldn’t go into detail on what was changed for this year, they did acknowledge the 2015 issues.
“I know that the garrison commander and that the team here have worked very hard,” said Col. Erica Nelson, who hosted this year’s ceremony at the cemetery. “They realized that there were some issues last year and they worked this year to make sure that it would be much more fluid to get through our security measures. I heard that it was today, so I'm sure they’ll take the lessons learned from today and continue to do that for the future so that it doesn’t prevent people from wanting to come.”
Brian Abel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.