(St. Joseph,MO) Near the entrance to the Mount Mora Cemetery you’ll find a statue of General John Pershing standing in rememberance of those who served in the First World War.Monday the historic cemetery paid tribute to the veterans of World War I and the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.
"Veterans and those killed in this war were the explemlory of those who upheld the values of freedom and those rights that were given to us by the constitution of the United States,"Mount Mora Cemetery Association member Jim Lehr said.
Michael Richardson is a member of the Military Funeral Honors Guard with the 35th Signal Battalion of the U.S. Army National Guard. Richardson said the ceremony included a presentation of the flag, the pledge of allegiance and the playing of taps.
"We are actually honoring this 100 year old cemetary and getting to raise the flag and provide a short ceremony,"Richardson said.
The ceremony also included a wreath presentation from the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution to pay tribute to the 116,516 American soldiers who lost their lives in World War I.
"A lot of years go by and a lot of details about different veterans and soldiers get lost, so this is a good chance to pay that back and pay that forward to the fallen that's gone ahead of us,”Richardson said.
Richardson said he also brought his young son to Mount Mora to teach him the importance of respecting those who serve their county.
“I like to start him young and get his eyes, and ears and heart and mind exposed to what the military does and what we stand for,”Richardson said.
The monument was erected in 1926 as a memorial to the soldiers of Buchanan County who lost their lives during the war. Women of the Service Star Legion helped raise $3,560 for the construction of the statue.
Lehr said the monument is celebrated as one of the few WWI memorials in the country.
"Although the National World War I monument is in Kansas City, throughout the county World War I monuments are extremely rare,” Lehr said. "This is unique to St. Joseph and Buchanan County and loved by many folks."