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"Welcome to St. Louie!"

  We had a really good trip to St. Louis. For those who were not there, the only thing you did not miss was the "warmth" of the days.  We stayed at the Sheraton Westport Chalet hotel. Nice facilities plus they were very accommodating to our needs. A large hospitality room was provided for the duration, with breakfast both Friday and Saturday. There were several good restaurants in the plaza area next to the hotel so no one really had to go looking elsewhere.
   We took off Friday morning at 9:00, for  the start of a city tour as it is a great way to get an overview of a very diverse place. Following the city tour we went to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, whose interior is covered with 83,000 sq feet of mosaics, the largest such collection in the world. From here we drove through Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks in the United States. Forest Park was home to the 1904 World’s Fair, which drew more than 19 million visitors from around the world. Today, the park is home to many museums, a zoo, and the Muny Theater. We had time to explore the Missouri History Museum, built in 1913, offering exhibits on African-American history, the 1903 World’s Fair, Lewis & Clark and Charles Lindbergh. Lunch was included with the tour at Meriwether’s Restaurant located within the museum.

  After lunch, we boarded the coach for the short drive to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The St. Louis Anheuser-Busch 100-acre brewery is a rich part of America’s brewing history and the largest of Anheuser-Busch’s twelve U.S and two overseas breweries. The tour included the historic stables, home to the Budweiser Clydesdale Eight-Horse Hitch, and one of several national historic landmarks on the property, the main brew house, the Brevo Packaging Plant, and of course samples for all. We could relax in the hospitality room to enjoy our favorite brew, or browse the unique Anheuser-Busch gift shop. Afterwards we headed back to the hotel for an evening of leisure.

   Saturday we departed at 9:00 AM for a drive to the 630-foot Gateway Arch, which is also home to the Museum of Westward Expansion. Everyone had the opportunity to take a tram ride to the top of the Arch or just relax and enjoy a film on how it was built. There was plenty of time to tour the museum due to a change in plans. Originally we were supposed to take a Mississippi River Cruise with lunch. This was canceled due to the river being above flood stage. We could not get to the boat as the road leading to it was under water. Lunch was moved to a nearby buffet restaurant. Plenty of choices and good food.

  Our tour then continued to the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, second largest only to Arlington, established in 1826 as the country’s first “Infantry School of Practice.” The barracks served as a major military installation until 1946. Named in honor of former President Thomas Jefferson, the post played an important role in the westward expansion.  We disembarked from our buses for our remembrance service and the laying of a wreath. Afterwards, the bus drivers took us on a tour of the cemetery revealing just how large it is, covering more than 300 acres and is about  95% utilized. Follow this link for more information... 

  Following the cemetery tour, we headed back to our hotel about 3:00 for our 3:30 business meeting followed by the Saturday evening dinner. The dinner and the program was excellent. George Baker did a really fine job in running things with the help of all the officers. Watch for photos, both from the official photographer and those from your shipmates. They will appear on the Slideshow page and in the Photo Gallery. (George will also be running the Washington D.C. reunion in 2011.) A lot was packed into two short days, but hopefully everyone had a great time and learned a bit of the history of the westward expansion of out country. 

Some of the sites...