DOWNTOWN – Members of the armed forces have the duty and honor of protecting the nation – and this year, because of the COVID-19 threat to public safety, ceremonies to honor them are going virtual.
The 37th Annual St. Louis Regional Veterans Day Parade will be held online today, Wednesday, Nov. 11. The Soldiers Memorial Military Museum is hosting the virtual event, organized by the Missouri Historical Society and the city of St. Louis along with area veterans groups.
Everyone is invited to attend from their homes or offices – no coats needed despite chilly weather.
Soldiers Memorial staff said on the museum’s website, “We will sadly miss the sights and sounds of the parade and its show of support for our veterans. … While it will be different from parades of the past, it’s an important reminder that St. Louis is thankful to its veterans.”
Mayor Lyda Krewson said Wednesday via Twitter: “Today, we salute and honor the bravery and sacrifices of those who have served — and continue to serve — our country to defend our freedoms and our democracy. Thank you to all our veterans — including those who also now serve our City.”
To visit the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum in person during the coronavirus pandemic, advance registration is required. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free. It also offers outdoor tours on Wednesdays at 1 p.m., but those are full today.
The parade may be online, but people who seek an outdoor experience on this Veterans Day can still visit the Soldiers Memorial. Everyone is free to stroll through the grounds, read the names inscribed on the memorial walls and admire the sculptures, fountains and massive ship’s anchor that honor the service of area veterans. (As with any activity during the pandemic, social distancing is crucial.)
More information is available at mohistory.org/memorial
For another downtown adventure on Wednesday, veterans can ride the St. Louis Wheel for free today. Active military members and anyone accompanying a veteran get a 20% discount. The standard price of a ticket is $15. Children’s tickets cost $10; those are still the same price.