ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Saturday marked the 30th annual Veterans Day observance and parade in downtown St. Louis, as well as recognizing the 60-year anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.
Four men who fought in the Korean War were selected as parade grand marshals, including retired Senior Master Sergeant Harry Hope, “Thursday was a great day. They voted me as ‘Veteran of the Year.’ Today, I’m a grand marshal. It’s wonderful for an 82-year-old man, I tell you.”
Alongside was U.S. Navy veteran Tom Gilmore, “It’s good for everyone to understand what the military’s about, what veterans represent, and the song ‘God Bless America,’ that’s about as plain as I can make it.”
Other Korean War honorees included Army veteran Ike Henderson and Woody Powell, who served in the Air Force.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said 161 St. Louisans lost their lives in the Korean War.
Lieutenant General Darren McDew from Scott Air Force Base spoke with KMOX after giving the keynote speech at the event, “The fabric of the American flag is woven together by the service and sacrifice of many veterans. I have pledged for the rest of my life to thank those who’ve served. I also want to thank the American public. It’s been an amazing and generous public that’s supported us through every conflict.”
Some of the veterans attending Saturday’s parade expressed disappointment that the turnout to watch the parade wasn’t what they had hoped for, including Vietnam veteran Ray Cobb of Catawissa, “They seem to draw more people for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, where there’s more of a party atmosphere. People tend to forget we’re still at war. The veterans need all the support they can get. Coming here for a parade on Veterans Day Weekend is a good way to show that.”