Veterans Day Celebrated At Missouri Capitol | St. Louis Public Radio

Veterans Day Celebrated At Missouri Capitol

Nov 11, 2013

Around 100 people turned out at the Missouri Capitol Monday to salute America's military veterans.

The crowd was a mix of veterans and civilians who not only heard about the sacrifices of the nation's older vets, but also of younger ones who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Retired Air Force Colonel John Clark of Columbia says it's crucial for returning soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines to retrain their minds for peace.

"It can be done, there are those who can help, you cannot do it yourself – your mind, tempered in trauma, just won't let you," Clark said.  "It will not be easy, but you have proven over and over again that the word 'hard' does not intimidate you…it will be well worth the struggle, well worth the struggle."

Clark then told older vets that despite retiring from the military, they have not retired from the task of inspiring younger veterans.

Wilburn Rowden, 90, of Jefferson City is a World War Two veteran who says he's grateful for the sacrifices today's servicemen and women are making.

"We're proud of them and they're doing a good job," Rowden said.  "We're proud, proud of having them doing it – it’s a necessity, in my opinion."

Rowden served onboard a B-17 bomber during World War Two that was shot down over Nazi Germany, and he spent just over a year as a prison of war.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport