WWII veterans thankful for support at Spirit of '45 ceremony

WWII veterans thankful for support at Spirit of '45 ceremony
Published: Aug. 16, 2015 at 8:50 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2015 at 1:01 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - World War II veterans were honored at the Mound City National Cemetery on Sunday.

But the ceremony was more than just a tribute to the ending of WWII. It was a reunion for many.

A handful of veterans came out to the event filled with dozens of family, friends, and other visitors.

Each shared some words and had stories to tell.

With every word, people listened intently and laughed at the many jokes the men had to say.

The atmosphere was that of a family get-together, filled with laughs and hugs all while remembering the soldiers that fought.

From the younger generation all the way up to men and women in their 90's, all learned of what these veterans did to help.

Fred Moyers, Air Force Technical Sergeant and former POW, walked up to the podium and gave a speech of what he encountered during the war and what this day, 70 years later after the war ended, means to him.

"It brings back a lot of good memories, and a lot of friends that I still communicate with," said Moyer. "There are bad memories too like having to jump out of an airplane and I almost forgot my parachute. German authorities picked me up when I got down to the ground."

Moyers says he feels overcome by the amount of people showing interest in his generation.

He felt in the past before this event, generations weren't as thankful or interested in soldiers of the WWII era but is now happy to know so many people still care.

Moyers wasn't the only one who had stories to tell.

Ella Shephard helped take the place of soldiers when they went off to war over 70 years ago.

Shephard became a journeyman in welding and even helped out the Mounds Fire Department.

On the day she heard the war was over, she celebrated.

"I went up at the fire department, pulled that lever down and blasting," Shephard said. "I mean I rang that fire alarm and the fireman come running. Where's the fire? Where's the fire? I said the fire, there ain't no fire, the war is over."

The ceremony finished with a 21 gun salute, TAPS, and the laying of the wreath.

Afterward, veterans gathered together for pictures and to tell more stories.

They were even approached and shook hands with the Troop 774 Mounds Boy Scouts who attended the ceremony.

Veterans left there saying they felt more respected and thankful that people came out to visit and honor them and others who fought in WWII.

They felt much appreciated on the 70th anniversary of a day that, they say, was one of the greatest moments they have ever felt.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved.