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St. Louis Honors Veterans

Joseph Leahy

Salutes fired in downtown St. Louis this morning at the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum in honor of the sacrifices made by U.S. armed service members for their country. Parades, ceremonies and speeches in the St. Louis area over the three-day weekend marked the 95th anniversary of the end of WWI, known previously as Armistice Day.

Dennis Charest, a former Army sergeant and executive vice commander of the American Legion's 11th and 12th Districts in Missouri, says he hopes the hundreds of thousands of troops returning home from the most recent wars will be the U.S.'s last large group of military veterans.

"If we don't get into another military conflict, hopefully the American Legion will make its goal of non-existence because it exists to not exist, because it serves those who have served," he said. "Someday these duties may be done. We won't have any veterans anymore."

Veterans returning from Europe after World War I founded the American Legion in 1919. St. Louis played a key role in the organization's founding, hosting a caucus in which the Legion's constitution was drafted.

Follow Joseph Leahy on Twitter:@JoeMikeLeahy