Members of the military and city officials gathered on the steps of Soldiers’ Memorial to honor veterans this morning.
At the ceremony before the 29th annual St. Louis Veterans Day Parade, Rear Admiral William Brown praised the region for its support of veterans.
“For over 74-years Soldiers’ Memorial has served as a strong symbol of St. Louis’s incredible respect for veterans,” Brown said. “I thank all of those who have operated and preserved this memorial and who continue to serve and care for the memorial today.”
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay also spoke during today's Veterans Day Observance.
He said the best way to help a new generation of veterans transition back into civilian life is as a community, and a good place to start is ensuring they can find quality jobs.
“We’re always out promoting veterans as an opportunity for businesses throughout our community and our government agencies,” Slay said. “They have a lot of talent, they have strong work ethic. They are disciplined, they have a strong sense of loyalty, and they make very, very good employees.”
Slay also said the city is committed to ongoing partnerships with community organizations aimed at tackling homelessness in the veteran population.
New Purple Heart Stamp Unveiled
During the Veterans Day Observance the U.S. Postal Service unveiled its new Purple Heart Medal Forever stamp.
St. Louis Post Master Cathy Vaughn said the stamp will serve as a lasting tribute to the nation's service men and women.
“It symbolizes the freedom that we have,” Vaughn said. “And we’re very, very proud to be a part of all of the events.”
First issued as a 37-cent First-Class stamp in 2003, the Purple Heart stamp was reprinted four times.
It was then issued as a Forever Stamp last year, and the new version shows a slightly larger image of the medal on a white background.