Memorial Day ceremony at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – It is an emotional Memorial Day around the St. Louis area and the entire country, as people take time to remember our fallen veterans who were killed defending our freedom.

One of the larger events of the day in the region took place at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in south St. Louis County.

The Memorial Day ceremony there has been going on since 1960. Like in the past, many people came out today to honor our fallen veterans.

The Jefferson Barracks ceremony started around 10 a.m. with a memorial procession through the cemetery to the main ceremony area. There was an empty casket covered by a flag where the ceremony took place. There were also wreaths and a flag at half staff. Prayers were said and patriotic songs were played.

Besides the many veterans and family members of veterans who were here, some political leaders were on hand as well.

217,000 people are buried at Jefferson Barracks; it’s the fifth busiest national cemetery in the country.

Tom Mundell, an Army veteran and past state commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars or VFW, has many family members buried at Jefferson Barracks.

Mundell was the keynote speaker at the Jefferson Barracks ceremony and says today is a tough day for many, including himself.

Before the Jefferson Barracks ceremony started, another Memorial Day event wrapped up across the street from the cemetery in Sylvan Springs County Park. The St. Louis district of the American Legion partnered with St. Louis County Parks to read all of the names of American military members killed in the Vietnam War. After each name was read, a bell was rung to honor the veteran. That effort started Thursday and ended about 8 a.m.

Organizers there saying it’s important to remember all veterans on this Memorial Day.