ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – St. Charles Memorial Gardens is hosting its 61st annual Veterans Memorial Service Program. The event continues through Monday.

On Sunday, families who have lost service members from St. Charles County, past or present, in the last year were invited to participate in an afternoon celebration.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day because of the tradition of decorating graves. That tradition continues today as loved ones’ graves are decorated with flowers, wreaths, and flags.

“Their names are read aloud, and their families are invited to place a poppy and a wreath,” Kacie Derby, Baue Funeral Homes advanced planning and cemetery manager, said. “It is very meaningful. We’re very happy to do this and put it on every year for the veterans in the community.”

A Field of Honor at the cemetery is filled with flags, it’s the only place in the cemetery where everyone buried is either a veteran or a spouse of a veteran.

“As I go down the rows, a lot of them I either knew them or I knew of their family members,” Bob Bauer said, as a veteran himself, he was visiting his family member’s graves Sunday.

“It’s very emotional for me, my dad was in the army that’s why he’s in this cemetery, they’ve been gone quite a few years,” Pat Wenom said as she finished decorating her parents’ graves. “Just how much it means to see all the flags. It’s pretty emotional; it’s pretty overwhelming.”

Monday’s events and Veterans Memorial Service are from noon to 2 p.m.