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Slay calls for public to attend Veterans Parade, to show respect for those killed at Ft. Hood

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 5, 2009 - St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is encouraging people shocked about Thursday's shootings at the Ft. Hood military base in Texas to consider attending Saturday's annual Veterans Parade and Ceremony.

"There will be plenty of people around who can share some insight — and who might need your comfort,'' the mayor wrote on his blog. "No political debates. Just honoring veterans."

The downtown parade starts at noon. The pre-parade ceremony begins at 10:45 a.m. on the steps of the downtown Soldiers’ Memorial.

Slay wrote that he "was just thinking about my remarks for the Veterans Day parade, when the news broke about the shootings at Fort Hood."

Although not all the details are known, he continued, "The bare bones are bad enough: soldiers shot by other soldiers."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.