In one of the oldest parts of the cemetery, the organizers of US Grant Camp 68 bring it back to the beginning.
ST. LOUIS — Thousands of flags waved at Jefferson Barracks on Memorial Day as thousands of loved ones paid their respects to the men and women who sacrificed everything.
In one of the oldest parts of the cemetery, US Grant Camp 68 organizers took it back to the beginning, demonstrating what a ceremony would look like in the early days of Memorial Day.
For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of people honored Union veterans of the Civil War.
Don Palmer was the keynote speaker and former Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
“Memorial Day was established in 1868 and what we’re trying to do here is carry on the tradition that was started by the Grand Army,” he said.
Buried in this section are Union soldiers from all over.
“Jefferson Barracks, the post here at the time was a military hospital. Wounded soldiers from the surrounding battlefields were brought here for treatment and many died and were buried here. There are 12,000 soldiers from the ‘Union buried here,’ Palmer said.
Many tombstones are unknown.
“Even though their headstone says unknown, they all have lives, they had families, they all had futures and that’s it,” Palmer said. “We want to make sure the story is remembered because often over time the earliest contributors to our American history tend to be forgotten and we don’t want that to be forgotten.”
Honoring these soldiers are Karen and Ann Bergman.
COVID has limited their time during the pandemic, but they wanted to share their gratitude this holiday.
For Ann, it is a custom to pay homage.
“We used to come with my parents. Memorial Day was a solemn day, very solemn,” Ann shares.
His family is related to many veterans.
“It was pretty hard not being in touch with someone during WWII. I’m from the Korean War, we had friends and boyfriends who didn’t come back,” she said. declared.
The Bergmans cling to tradition, going back to the roots of the party.
“I think it’s important to remember all the people who died and too many forget them and we just celebrate the day and forget what it means,” Karen said.