Veterans, families and other citizens commemorated fallen soldiers and loved ones who served in war Monday at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay was among the elected officials who gathered for the 55th annual ceremony at the cemetery, which is the fifth largest under the Department of Veterans Affairs. Slay said Memorial Day marks one of the most important days of every summer.
“Remember, and do not forget," he said. "That is the message of the flags, stars and stripes. Remember, and do not forget. That is the message of the rows of headstones here at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.”
Chief Master Sergeant Robert Rodewald of Scott Air Force Base paid tribute to the efforts of the younger soldiers serving in Afghanistan. That war, he said, presents many future challenges.
“As the U.S. military evolves to meet the challenges presented by an uncertain future, many things will endure: the dedication of service members to the defense of our nation, their solemn obligation to care for wounded warriors and their families and the dignity and respect they ensure for the fallen," he said.
Jefferson Barracks started as a military post cemetery in 1826. It is the resting place for the remains of veterans from all U.S .wars.