Memorial Day Events: Honoring History and Community in St. Louis

As we commemorate Memorial Day, it’s a time for reflection on our history and community. In St. Louis, Memorial Day holds particular significance, intertwining with our city’s rich historical tapestry.

The Historical Roots of Memorial Day in St. Louis

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, was established after the Civil War to honor fallen soldiers. St. Louis, with its strategic location and historical military significance, has always played a pivotal role in these commemorations. Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, one of the oldest military cemeteries in the United States, serves as the final resting place for over 188,000 soldiers, spanning conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the present day. Each year, the cemetery becomes a focal point for Memorial Day activities, reminding us of the sacrifices made by countless individuals to protect our freedoms.

Community and Neighborhood Celebrations

Memorial Day serves as a reminder of the importance of community and remembrance. Neighborhoods throughout St. Louis host events and parades, fostering a sense of unity and pride. Here are some notable celebrations:

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery: Annual Memorial Day Ceremony

  • Event: Memorial Day Wreath-Laying Ceremony
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Details: Military honors, commemorative speeches, playing of Taps, and a rifle volley.
  • Location: Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, 2900 Sheridan Road, St. Louis, MO

Soldiers Memorial Military Museum: Memorial Day Ceremony

  • Event: Memorial Day Ceremony
  • Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Details: Adding names of 254 St. Louisans who died in the Vietnam War to the Court of Honor, performances by the Red and Black Brass band, and a procession to the Court of Honor.
  • Location: 1315 Chestnut St., downtown St. Louis, MO

Lafayette Square: Memorial Day Picnic

  • Event: Memorial Day Picnic
  • Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Details: The neighborhood association organizes a picnic in Lafayette Park, featuring historic home tours, live music, and activities for children, celebrating the community’s heritage and honoring those who served.
  • Location: Lafayette Park, Lafayette Square, St. Louis, MO

Belleville Memorial Day Parade

  • Event: Annual Memorial Day Parade
  • Time: Parade starts at 10:00 AM, Memorial Day Program starts at 11:00 AM
  • Details: Parade route ends at Walnut Hill Cemetery, followed by a Memorial Day Program.
  • Location: Downtown Belleville, IL

Central West End: Memorial Day Parade and Walking Tour

  • Event: Memorial Day Parade and Walking Tour
  • Time: Parade at 10:00 AM, Walking Tour at 12:00 PM
  • Details: The parade winds through the Central West End neighborhood, followed by a local history walking tour highlighting the area’s historical significance and military connections.
  • Location: Central West End, St. Louis, MO

Forest Park: Memorial Day 5K Run

  • Event: Memorial Day 5K Run
  • Time: 8:00 AM
  • Details: A 5K run through Forest Park, followed by a memorial service at the park’s Soldiers Memorial, honoring fallen soldiers with speeches and a moment of silence.
  • Location: Forest Park, St. Louis, MO

The Delmar Loop: Memorial Day Street Festival

  • Event: Memorial Day Street Festival
  • Time: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Details: A street festival featuring live music, food vendors, and special performances, including a tribute to local veterans and active-duty military personnel.
  • Location: Delmar Loop, St. Louis, MO

University City Memorial Day Run

  • Event: 50th Annual University City Memorial Day Run
  • Time: 7:30 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Details: This event features a 10K run starting at 7:30 AM, a 5K run starting at 7:50 AM, and a Family Fun Run starting at 9:15 AM. The runs begin in front of the University City Public Library and pass by many of University City’s landmarks and beautiful gardens. Proceeds from the event benefit the University City Public Library, The Green Center, and U City in Bloom.
  • Location: University City Public Library, 6701 Delmar Blvd, University City, MO

Ballwin Memorial Day Ceremony

  • Event: Memorial Day Ceremony
  • Time: 11:15 AM
  • Details: Includes Color Guard VFW Post 6274 and a performance by the Donneresas.
  • Location: Peace Memorial at Vlasis Park, Ballwin, MO

Manchester Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony

  • Event: Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Details: The ceremony will feature U.S. Navy Reserve Commander Sam Fletcher as the speaker, and will include a bald eagle from the World Bird Sanctuary, music by the Manchester Community Band, and the Flags of Valor presentation, recognizing service members killed in action since September 11.
  • Location: Veterans Memorial in Stoecker Park, 222 Henry Ave, Manchester, MO

Sappington-Concord Historical Society Memorial Day Ceremony

  • Event: Memorial Day Ceremony
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Details: The traditional ceremony will include community participation and honor local veterans. The Sappington-Concord Historical Society hosts this event, which is a long-standing tradition in the area.
  • Location: Sappington-Concord Historical Society, Sappington, MO

Alton Memorial Day Parade

  • Event: Alton Memorial Day Parade
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Details: The Alton Memorial Day Parade is touted as the oldest consecutive Memorial Day parade in America, having run every year since 1868. The celebration begins at Alton Middle School and concludes at the Alton City Cemetery. The parade features various floats, marching bands, and community groups, all coming together to honor those who have served and sacrificed.
  • Location: Starts at Alton Middle School, 2200 College Ave, and ends at Alton City Cemetery, 1205 East 5th St., Alton, IL

Collinsville Memorial Day Service

  • Event: Collinsville Memorial Day Service
  • Time: 10:30 AM
  • Details: The Collinsville Memorial Day Service will be held at the Collinsville VFW. The event will feature a guest speaker, John Shimkus, and a performance by the Collinsville High School band. A light lunch will be served following the ceremony, allowing the community to gather and reflect on the significance of the day.
  • Location: Veterans of Foreign Wars, 1234 Vandalia Street, Collinsville, IL

Wings Over St. Louis

  • Event: Wings Over St. Louis
  • Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Details: This event at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield features historic warbird flights, static displays of vintage aircraft, and educational activities. Visitors can ride in one of the warbirds, view historic military vehicles, and participate in interactive learning experiences. The event is family-friendly and offers a unique opportunity to experience aviation history up close.
  • Location: Spirit of St. Louis Airport, 18270 Edison Ave, Chesterfield, MO

These community events not only honor the memory of those who served but also enhance the appeal of St. Louis neighborhoods, making them attractive to potential homebuyers looking for areas with a strong sense of community and history.

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