Our St.Charles County Veterans Museum Committee is working extremely hard to put together a wonderful museum with the memorabilia and the stories of the veterans of St. Charles County.
Our museum will be unique in that it totally focuses on the veterans and the families of St. Charles County…..Our museum needs your help in many ways…through your donations of memorabilia and stories of the men and women that it represents…Through financial donations both large and small to help with the major costs of opening and maintaining a museum…Also, we are looking to gather a large group of interested volunteers who can help the museum in many ways….If you wish to help or learn more about what you can do to help, please e-mail us at SCCVetsMuseum@gmail.com or you may text us at 636-221-1524 with the word Museum or visit us on our facebook page at the StCharlesCountyVeteransMuseum or contact us through this page below.
A member of the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Committee will get back to YOU!
For those of you who do not know our Chairman of the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Committee Ralph Barrale, we want to share this recent message, in his own words…
With all due respect I am 94 years old, I do not talk fast like I use to, or walk fast like I did, please give me a little more time. Thank you.
I am here today to talk about the “Missouri Veterans Protection Act”. But first I want to introduce myself.
I am Ralph Barrale Sr. I live in Lake Saint Louis, been married to the same beautiful lady for 71 years, going on 72 in June. Have 3 grown children, one girl, 2 boys. I have been retired since May,1980.
I was drafted in World War 2 into the U.S. Army in May 1943 as a “Combat Military Policeman”. I stand before you an old Soldier, who at the age of 20, found himself on the beach in Normandy, France. Landing on Utah Beach in 1944 in World War 2, asking myself this question. “MY GOD WHAT AM I DOING HERE?? WHY AM I HERE??
I am sure there are Veterans here, at one time or another have asked this same question.
Yes! we were told that we were on a great “Crusade to free and Liberate the Continent of Europe”. Freedom, Liberty. What did an 18, 19, 20 year old know what those words really mean?? We have always taken them for granted.
We joined General Patton’s 3rd Army. Fighting through France, going into the towns and cities, the people rushing out to greet us, the people smiling and happy to see American Soldiers. Knowing they were liberated, they were free at last after 4 years of German rule. When they first saw American Soldiers, they did not see Italian American, Irish American, German American, French American, Polish American, or African American.
They saw Americans.
Ladies and Gentlemen, that is who we are, we are all Americans.
I love this Country, I thank my Mom, my Dad and GOD every day for letting me be born in the United States. It breaks my heart every time I see an American DESECRATING our Flag. Don’t they know that THOUSANDS of Americans have died for that Flag and what it stands for?? We fought in the “Battle of the Bulge” coldest winter in over 100 years. This was the largest and Bloodiest battle the American Army fought in World War 2. The battle started on Dec.16, 1944 it ended January 25, 1945.
My outfit participated in the capture of the “Ludendorff Bridge”(March 8th,1945) at Remagen, Germany with the 9th Armor Div. We were one of the first units to arrive at “Dachau”, a concentration camp outside of Munich, Germany.
No one prepared us for what we were going to see there.
The victims, people in skin and bones, the ovens were people were cremated, people stacked up like cords of wood ready to be cremated, the atrocities committed there. Then I knew, we all knew, and the whole world knew why we were there. This was not going to happen in our Country.
My outfit saw action in 3rd Army, 1st Army, 9th Army, 12 Corps, 15 Corps, 3 Corps. My Company received Commendations from the following Generals:
General George S. Patton, Commander 3rd Army. General Courtney H. Hodges Commander 1st Army. Major General J.A. Van Fleet Commander 3rd Corps. Major General Raymond B. Lark, CMP Provost Marshal.
Ladies and Gentlemen I am Ralph Barrale Sr. Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen, for this opportunity to be here and to speak to all of you today. I am honored to be here today. Thank you.
I am here today to ask you to help us Veterans and future Veterans keep the recognition we have in the state of Missouri. Everything we have in St. Charles County is there for a reason and it has a meaning. When my family moved from St. Louis County in 1974 to St. Charles County, there was only one city in St. Charles County that honored our Veterans and that was the City of Wentzville with the first Vietnam Memorial in the Country, in all of the United States.
No other city in St Charles County recognized or honored our Veterans, hard to believe isn’t it.
I was instrument in getting recognition for our Veterans by going to every City Council along Highway 70 and getting the South Service Road name changed to” Veteran Memorial Parkway”. the road starts at 5th street in the City of St. Charles, and runs thru the City of Warrenton in Warren County a total of 50 miles. This road is named after all the American men and Women that never came back home, 6 of those were my buddies that we bummed around with before the war. I was the only one of the 7 that came back home.
I think of that often, why was I spared???
We, the living, it is up to us to make sure, that we honor and remember the sacrifice they all made. What sacrifice did they make?? Most of them were young men and women when they died, I am 94 years old I know what they gave up because I have lived it. They gave up 2
lives….One they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died they gave up their chance to be husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, grandparents, and yes, great grandparents. They gave up their chance to be revered, old people.
What a sacrifice!!.
They gave up everything for their Country and us. We must always remember them.
That is why I am here and you are all are there, our Missouri Representatives, to get this “Missouri Veterans heritage Protection Act” pass. I understand there are 2 Bills “HB1427 and HB2189 introduced by Representatives Warren Love and Bryan Spencer, respectively.
Today, starting with St. Charles City, St. Peters, O’Fallon, Lake Saint Louis, Wentzville, we have Veterans Memorial Parks and Monuments and a Bridge over the Missouri River honoring our Veterans. Memorial Day and Veterans Day Ceremonies draw huge crowds. today I would say St. Charles County is a very big Veteran friendly County.
One thing I want to mention, a few years ago the Mayor for St. Peters called me and wanted to talk to me about the car dealers in St. Peters on Veterans memorial Parkway, they wanted to change their section of the road to ” Automotive Way”. My answer to him was “Mr. Mayor if you give in to them you will be committing “POLITICAL SUICIDE”.
Today, he is still the Mayor of St. Peters.
I mention this because as you all know, there are forces in our Country that want to destroy our form of government and our history. They are attacking us every chance they get, like knocking down statues and monuments. Changing the name of the Arch in St. Louis, Mo. From “Jefferson National Expansion Monument”, to the “Gateway Arch of St. Louis.” This was a Memorial to Thomas Jefferson our 3rd President, and the man responsible for the “Louisiana Purchase” the land we bought from France. What next??? Closing down the Washington Monument?? Destroying Mt. Rushmore?? Passing this “Missouri Veterans Heritage Protection Act” is a big start in preserving our history. You never know, the other states may follow Missouri’s lead.
In closing, I want to leave you with this thought, “NO ONE IS EVER GONE,AS LONG AS SOMEONE STILL HAS MEMORIES OF THEM”
-Ralph Barrale, Sr.
Lake St. Louis, MO
Please take a moment and consider sharing with the new St. Charles County Veterans Museum! Contact us below!
Every one of us has a family member, a friend, a loved one who served in the military and many of us have memorabilia from their service to our country. We are not certain what to do with it…”We can’t throw it away but what do we do with it?”
The St. Charles County Veterans Commission Committee will open the SAINT CHARLES COUNTY VETERANS MUSEUM IN THE SPRING OF 2019. If you would like to discuss how your family can be part of this please contact us. If you are interested in helping our museum with some cherished memorabilia or memories of a St. Charles County Veteran, please contact Jim Frain at firstname.lastname@example.org or text 314-780-1811. Our Acquisitions Committee will get back to you quickly. Thank you!
You may also use the box below to send us a message
On Thursday, March 22nd at the O’Fallon City Council Meeting…The lease for the St. Charles County Veterans Museum on 410 Elm Street in O’Fallon, Missouri is signed and the Resolution for our building and the museum passed with a 10 – 0 Unanimous Vote by the O’FALLON City Council ..The Veterans of St. Charles County will be honored in a very positive way when the museum opens in Spring of 2019…
From St. Charles County Veterans Museum Committee Vice Chairman Jim Frain…
“There are always those special moments in life that you will never forget….The Resolution Approval for the St. Charles County Veterans Museum with Ralph and Rose Barrale and Mayor Bill Hennessy was one of those moments. It was 6 years ago that Ralph said to me, “Jim, if I was 25 years younger I would have a dream come true to create the St. Charles County Veterans Museum.” I responded, “Well Ralph, I am 25 years younger than you. Let’s give it a shot.” We did. It worked…Now, the real work begins to put together a special museum recognizing the Veterans of St. Charles County…If you wish to meet and discuss the possibility of donating memorabilia from your St. Charles County Family along with creating a wonderful tribute to your special veteran please text Jim Frain at 314-780-1811“