Hundreds of residents showed up Saturday to celebrate Veterans Day and honor the new names of veterans inscribed on the O'Fallon Veterans' Monument.
Chaplain Maj. Tom Dawson, 375 AMW/HC, told the crowd that the ceremony served as a reminder of those "who have served their country with courage and self sacrifice."
The ceremony included songs sung by the fifth-grade classes at Estelle Kampmeyer and Marie Schaefer schools, the national anthem performed by Miss O'Fallon Kylie Evgenides and participation by members of the O'Fallon Township High School Air Force ROTC.
Jo Smith, of the O'Fallon Womans Club, read the names of 24 veterans whose names recently were inscribed on the O'Fallon monument.
Veterans were encouraged to wear medals and other military decorations. The rest of the crowd proudly wore red, white and blue.
Some members of the crowd cried during the ceremony. Others stood proudly with their hands over their hearts.
Brig. Gen. James C. Vechery, deputy director of Strategic Plans, Requirements and Programs, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, encouraged the crowd to cheer "Air power!" every time he said, "Thank you, veterans."
He said Veterans Day honors servicemen and women for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve for the common good.
"Every one of you deserves the admiration of our country," Vechery told active and retired military.
Kendra Fipps, of O'Fallon, watched her daughter, Andrea Fipps, a junior at the O'Fallon high school, perform with the ROTC.
She said the event made her grateful to know that people in the military are defending her freedom when she is awake and asleep.
"It is a privilege and an honor to be here," she said.
Here are the newly-inscribed veterans' names on the O'Fallon Veterans Monument:
Thomas R. Prine
Norman G. Murphy
Rodney A. Murphy
Joseph J. Schmitt
Thomas E. Sullivan
David S. Hinton
Nelson G. Hundley Jr.
Robert G. Poignee
Sebastian C. Mace
Waldo H. Ponder
Chris Van Etten
Glendle F. Munier
William G. Wheeler
Gary D. Vosburgh
David C. Longhorn
James M. Redman
Robert W. Beedle
Frederick J. Keil