Florissant Veteran’s Day parade and Mayor’s Speech

Dennis Klier, Florissant Veteran of the Year, speaks after the parade at VFW Post 4105

Dennis Klier, Florissant Veteran of the Year, speaks after the parade at VFW Post 4105

Valley of Flowers Queen and her Court rode in city's float in parade

Valley of Flowers Queen and her Court rode in city’s float in parade

Mayor Tom Schneider

Gives Vet’s Day Speech

The following was Mayor Tom Schneider’s Veteran’s Day speech given at the post-parade event in Florissant on Sunday, Nov. 12

“World War I rivaled the American Civil War as one of the bloodiest wars in history with horrendous casualties. The beginning of WWI was the start of a modern day, 30-year war lasting 31 years from 1914 until the end of World War 2 in 1945, a year shorter than my tenure on the City Council.

“ We find ourselves on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the killing in that conflict which went into effect almost poetically on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. So happy was the world that the killing stopped that they cherished Armistice Day and chose it to honor the end of the War to end all Wars. While my thoughts are on a century ago, let us pause to reflect that American women were still fighting for equality 100 years ago, leading to winning their suffrage in 1920.

Now Women serve proudly in every capacity in our military including as Captains of ships, planes and tanks delivering might to protect all of our rights. On Armistices Day, Nov. 11, 1921 an unknown soldier from WWI was interred at Arlington National Cemetery in a vault on a layer of soil taken from French battlefields. The Tombs of the Unknowns is still Americas’ most solemn site. In 1926, Armistice Day became an official observance and was declared a national holiday in 1938.

In Europe, they still honor Armistice day with solemn ceremonies. Our own native son, Air Force 1st Lt. Michael J. Blassie, was shot down on his 138th combat mission, and his remains were randomly chosen to serve as the Vietnam Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery. DNA science identified him, and he come home to his Florissant family for his funeral in 1998.

In 2018, we will honor 1st Lt. Michael J. Blassie with a plaque in our history walk. In 1954 the observance was changed to Veterans Day to honor all US veterans who have served to advance the unbroken experiment of democracy started in 1776. Veterans Day Parades have become a tradition in the United States, and since Florissant is such a faith based patriotic community, our parade has been an expression of patriotism, unity, respect, gratitude, and healing for many years.

The citizens of Florissant have truly discovered the essence of Armistice Day with our Veterans Day Parade and other patriotic gatherings. It is a blessing and honor to be the Mayor of this patriotic, appreciative and united community of patriots.


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