COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Mid-Missouri Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America held its 95th annual wreath-laying ceremony on Memorial Day. The event kicked off at 9 a.m. at the Boone County Courthouse plaza Monday to honor Boone County veterans who fought for America's freedom.
You can view the order of events in the program below.
The association said at least 100 people were in attendance for the annual event with over 30 Boone County organizations participating in the ceremony. As Crowds of people gathered to pay their respects to hundreds of Boone County Veterans, the association said in 2021, seeing crowds of people was impossible due to the pandemic.
"We had to do a live taping, which we did here but we didn't have any audience, so it was just the speaker and the key players that you saw today. It came off really good. We had a lot of help from Truman Veterans Hospital," said Thomas Corcoran, event coordinator for the wreath-laying ceremony.
The event also featured the Columbia Community Band, pipes and drums from the Boone County Fire Protection District and military firearms salute by the American Legion Post 202 Honor Guard.
One by one, different Boone county organizations stepped up to place their wreath on the courthouse monuments, showing their gratitude. Angela Peterson attended the ceremony for the first time to show her appreciation. Peterson said her daughter is currently serving in the U.S. Army.
"A lot of times we're not even in town for Memorial Day," Peterson said. "This one I heard about and I had to come down and I'm glad we did. So I think we'll make it a more regular thing moving forward."
Jeffrey Hoeschler, the public affairs officer for the Truman Veterans' Hospital in Columbia, delivered a keynote speech at Monday's event. Hoeschler says we should never forget why we gather.
"I think the main message I have about memorial day is that it certainly is okay and it's something that we should do is enjoy the weekend. But at the same time, we should also remember those who gave the last full measure of devotion," said Hoeschler.
Over 20 ceremonial wreaths were on display at Boone County Courthouse Plaza until 3:00 pm Monday afternoon for viewing. The association said they hope to hold the same event in the same fashion in 2023.