ST. LOUIS — It’s been a Veterans Day filled with honors, salutes, and many thanks to all current and former service members from sunrise to sunset.
Veterans were honored across the country and at multiple ceremonies in the St. Louis region, including in Belleville, Collinsville, and St. Charles.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson spoke at a ceremony in St. Charles, which also honored the life of fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz. He was killed during an attack at Kabul’s airport in August.
“We could never do enough to honor your son, but I tell you every day we are going to remember what he did,” Parson said.
Schmitz’s father, Mark Schmitz, also spoke at the event to honor his son.
“I would like to say it’s getting easier, but that would be a lie,” Mark Schmitz said. “There’s a hole we cannot fill.”
As day turned to night, the honors and ceremonies continued. During sunset, St. Charles County Park Ranger Jake Dean embarked on a three-mile ruck march with other veterans, families, and supporters.
“Veterans Day has a lot of stuff going on in the daytime, a lot of ceremonies and pomp and circumstance, and this is a chance to do something after that for both veterans, supporters of veterans, and future veterans,” Dean said.
The first-annual ruck march started at St. Charles County Community College and ended at the Veterans Memorial Tribute Park in St. Charles.