Every Nov. 11, our nation celebrates Veterans Day. It is a chance to pause and recognize all who put on a uniform and served our nation. As a veteran, I was honored to emcee the Veterans Day Ceremony and opening of the Veterans Memorial Garden at Veterans Tribute Park in Weldon Spring on Nov. 10. I am proud that this special place of reflection, education and remembrance is in my district and encourage you and your family to visit the park and memorial during this month of “Thanksgiving” to give thanks to those who served.
A song by Billy Ray Cyrus, “Some Gave All,” includes this stanza:
All Gave Some, Some Gave All
Some stood through for the red, white and blue
And some had to fall
And if you ever think of me
Think of all your liberties and recall
Some Gave All
We took special time at the ceremony and opening to honor those from our county who “gave all.” The names of 180 from St. Charles County who were killed in service to our nation since World War I were read aloud. These names are engraved on stone panels at the Veterans Memorial Plaza, which serves as the focal point of the garden. Hearing each and every name on that beautiful day, in the presence of veterans and their families, was a moving experience. Seeing the names on this remarkable memorial keeps their memories alive.
When you visit the garden, stroll along the Tribute Walk that leads to the memorial and read the interpretive panels placed there. These panels tell the history of conflicts from the time St. Charles County was organized in 1812, to present day. Stories convey the county’s role in each conflict through words and imagery, and plants near each panel bloom or have vibrant color at the end of each war. Stars are formed by commemorative bricks embedded along the walk and are a great way to honor veterans and other loved ones in your life. They are available from the St. Charles County Parks Foundation.
We have much to be thankful for in America, and in St. Charles County, because of the service of our veterans. When you give thanks this holiday season, remember those who, by raising their hands to take the oath of service, were saying to us, “I’m willing to give all for you.”