Throughout West County, young and not-so-young residents gathered to say thank you to the men and women who gallantly serve and have served in this country’s Armed Forces.
Shown here are scenes from around the Rockwood School District as well as from a very special celebration that took place at Bethesda Meadow in Ellisville.
At Bethesda Meadow, resident veterans, along with veterans from Westview Assisted Living Community and Autumn View Gardens, received special pins honoring their service. Several veterans also received pictures drawn for them by students from Ridge Meadows Elementary School and red, white and blue afghans made especially for them by Bethesda Hospice Care volunteers. A bald eagle named McGuire from the World Bird Sanctuary also was on hand to join in the celebration. First responders were also in attendance, with representatives from Abbott EMS and the Metro West Fire Protection District proudly standing at attention during the ceremony.
Ellisville Chief of Police Tom Felgate, a Vietnam veteran, helped post to the colors with Molly Root, a former Army major and West Point Graduate, retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Jim Tucker and Master Sergeant Robb Mourton.
Mourton, who currently serves in the Army, spoke to the attendees about remembering the soldiers shed sweat and blood to earn the freedoms enjoyed by the American people. Mourton’s speech received a heavy round of applause from the gathered crowd, which was comprised of over 100 veterans and local residents.
Prior to the event, Mourton said that participating in the ceremony is a way of “thanking our veterans that are in the nursing homes.”
“Most of the guys laying up in those beds are the ones who got it (the country) to this point,” Mourton said. “We are just carrying on their traditions.”
Tucker said that ceremonies like the one at Bethesda mean a lot to him, because it shows the dedication people have to their veterans.
“It’s great to be a vet,”Tucker said. “It’s great to have served. I wanted to serve since I was 10 years old.”
West Newsmagazine Jim Erickson was on hand for the Veterans Day celebration at Selvidge Middle. Read his article here.