12 November 2011

Veteran's Day at Jefferson Barracks

If you are looking for photographic opportunities, you look to places people gather.  On holidays such as Memorial Day and Veteran's Day, a great place to find people can be a cemetery, especially if you live within 20 minutes of a National Cemetery like Jefferson Barracks.  I drove down to capture some of the activities or scenery that caught my eye.  Here comes your brief history...

A little boy plays with the United States flag as his mother and grandmother paint the lettering of a tombstone.

Selected for it's strategic position south of St. Louis, Missouri, Jefferson Barracks opened in 1826, and became the United States Army's first permanent base west of the Mississippi River.  During the 1940s, it was also the largest military establishment in the country.  During the Civil War, Jefferson Barracks became a training post for Union soldiers.  Ironically, the cemetery also holds over 1,000 Confederate soldiers.  The cemetery has honorably served as a burial place for soldiers from all US wars.  

Grave markers roll with the hills as the flag in the background flies at half-staff honoring Veteran's Day.

The importance of the post waned rather quickly following World War II, and the post was deactivated in 1946.  However, the grounds continue to expand as a national cemetery as demand grows.  Jefferson Barracks was named to the National Register of Historical Places in 1998.

One marker is flanked by both the US flag and a flag commemorating Veteran's Day.


  1. Those are fabulous shots! I especially love the action of the little boy playing with the flag. Thank you for sharing the history of this cemetery! I love reading about things like this. I may never have learned about it otherwise.

  2. Thank you. I couldn't resist the boy with the flag. Believe it or not, I was just down the hill prior shooting deer in the cemetery. The deer didn't cooperate well in 15 minutes of uninterrupted shooting. They were ridiculously tame...just in the shadows.

    It's a neat place to visit. I usually get out there about twice a year for "patterns" and other miscellaneous shots.