SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Dozens of people gathered at the Missouri Veteran’s Cemetery to remember those who served their country on Memorial Day.
“There’s 12,000 out here that gave the ultimate sacrifice, they’ve got room for many more,” said Mike McFarland, a U.S. Army Veteran. “And they’re still as we speak, men and women in uniform, on foreign fields that are in danger. So not only our heatfelt thanks but our prayers go out to them daily.”
This ceremony couldn’t take place during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Thank you for all the service people that served,” said Chuck Wooten, a U.S. Navy Veteran. “I think this is great, that’s what memorial day is for.”
The National Anthem, a 21 gun salute, taps and Amazing Grace took place at the ceremony.
Wooten said he started serving when he was 17 and did so for three years.
“I went in as a little boy, I come out as a man,” said Wooten.
McFarland said he served in the 60s.
“Served in the army, drafted in 1967, went to Vietnam 1968 January, served until March of 1970,” said McFarland. “When you have a duty to do for your country, you don’t care who gets the credit, as long as you do the duty.”
Wooten is a World War II Veteran, and at 94-years-old, remembers his time in service.
“They sent me to Catalina, California, to ship out, they said, ‘you’re going to Japan and you won’t be back,'” said Wooten.
Wooten talked about a turning point in the war.
“Truman dropped the bomb,” said Wooten. “When he did that, he saved a lot of American lives.”
Congressman Billy Long gave a speech.
“If it wasn’t for the sacrifices of the people that gave us our freedom that we honor here today, we wouldn’t be able, we wouldn’t be afforded the opportunity to celebrate any other holiday,” said Long.
Springfield Mayor Ken McClure attended the ceremony and was glad to be there.
“This is just a great event, and I’m so happy that we were able to lift the restrictions prior to memorial day, so that we can do things like this,” said McClure.
Mayor McClure participated in “Taps Across America” with representatives across the country. This event took place at his home