If you've ever found yourself roaming around downtown St. Louis, you've certainly seen the Soldier's Memorial. Easily seen from Market st., this museum displays artifacts and pays tribute to the American Warfighter.
The Website describes the museum as a "building to honor the gallant sons and daughters of Missouri." It was proposed nearly a century ago, and opened in 1938 after money was raised by the city and citizens of St. Louis.
Upon walking up the steps, you'll first see the Cenotaph, a large, black granite stone with the names of fallen Soldiers and nurses from the city who have fallen during war. There are museums on either side of the Cenotaph.
As I mentioned, the museum holds interesting artifacts from many different conflicts America has been involved in. This is the Norden Bombsight, which was the most accurate bomb sight created during WWII. My grandfather was a navigator on a bomber during the war and said they were to destroy the bomb sight if there was ever any chance of it falling into enemy hands.
While many kinds of rifles, both American and otherwise, can be found in this museum, the AK-47 is the single most important and used weapon of the modern age.
And in case you were wondering, every weapon in the museum has been rendered inoperable.
One interesting thing the museum is doing to keep up with the modern age is the addition of QR codes on many of the displays. The Soldier's memorial has their own site these codes direct to which give you additional information. You should be able to use a QR scanner on the above photo to get an idea of how it works.
The POW/MIA memorial is displayed as well in the museum. If you've never seen the ceremony, it's a powerful reminder of those who have not yet come home. The military is very big on ceremony and symbolism. The script is:
The table is round – to show our everlasting concern.
The cloth is white – symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to serve.
The single red rose reminds us of the lives of these Americans….and their loved ones and friends who keep the faith, while seeking answers.
The red ribbon symbolizes our continued determination to account for them.
A slice of lemon reminds us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.
A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of our missing and their families who long for answers after decades of uncertainty.
The lighted candle reflects our hope for their return – alive or dead.
The Bible represents the strength gained through faith in our country, founded as one nation under God, to sustain those lost from our midst.
The glass is inverted – to symbolize their inability to share a toast.
The chairs are empty – they are missing
The hours of the museum are Monday through Friday 9:00 to 4:30 and weekends 10:00 to 3:00. Admission is free but donations are gladly accepted.