Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

HONORING THE FALLEN AT JEFFERSON BARRACKS; Speeches, Wreaths and Taps Fill Historic National Cemetery, Where More Than 150,000 Are Buried

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

HONORING THE FALLEN AT JEFFERSON BARRACKS; Speeches, Wreaths and Taps Fill Historic National Cemetery, Where More Than 150,000 Are Buried

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS COUNTY * About 1,500 veterans, their families and others gathered among the tight, neat rows of tombstones at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery on Monday to honor the memory of America's war dead and those still serving.

To Missouri Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Cassie Strom, those razor-straight rows of stone made a strong impression when she started her military career at the adjacent Jefferson Barracks Military Post years ago. She said she was initially awed by the "symmetry" of the more than 150,000 headstones in the cemetery.

"There could be no more fitting place to honor our fallen," she told the gathering at the Old Flag Circle, a grassy field within the sprawling complex. "This is a cemetery that embraces all equally. All are equally honored."

The annual Memorial Day gathering at Jefferson Barracks, one of several held Monday in communities throughout the region, featured military music, including a four-part rendition of taps, speeches and a ceremonial laying of wreaths.

For Vietnam veterans such as Kim Oglesby, 66, of Berkeley,the event illustrates a return to appreciation of veterans, something lacking during his service. He watched the festivities from a folding chair at the edge of the field where it was conducted.

"They thought we were baby killers and all that," recalled Oglesby, who served in 1968 and 1969 in the 7th and 17th Air Cavalry regiments. …

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