Memorial Day event brings St. Charles County man closer to his f - KMOV.com

Memorial Day event brings St. Charles County man closer to his father

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Mike Lehman told News 4 that attending a Memorial Day ceremony in St. Charles brought him closer to his father, Eugene Lehman, who died June 3, 1969 during the Vietnam War when the ship on which he served, was struck by another ship off the Vietnam coast. Mike Lehman told News 4 that attending a Memorial Day ceremony in St. Charles brought him closer to his father, Eugene Lehman, who died June 3, 1969 during the Vietnam War when the ship on which he served, was struck by another ship off the Vietnam coast.
Members of the Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 6, lay a wreath to remember fallen service members at a Memorial Day ceremony in St. Charles, MO (Credit: KMOV) Members of the Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 6, lay a wreath to remember fallen service members at a Memorial Day ceremony in St. Charles, MO (Credit: KMOV)
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

The Memorial Day ceremony for St. Charles County was moved inside to the St. Charles County administration building because of the heat.

"The heat and humidity, the heat index today is 100 degrees. And we have a lot of elderly participants and this is the best choice," said St. Charles County Veterans Committee president George Newell.

One of those attending, Mike Lehman, said the event was meaningful for him because his father was killed during the Vietnam War.

"It brings me closer to him. It makes me think of the time that I did have with him," said Lehman.

Lehman said his father, Eugene Lehman, was serving in the Navy aboard the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans during the Vietnam War. The destroyer was struck by the Royal Australian Navy aircraft carrier Melbourne on June 3rd, 1969 off the coast of Vietnam. 74 crew member died in the accident. 

Lehman, who retired after a 22-year career in the Navy, said he comes from a family with a tradition of military service.

"It's a pride that was instilled in me, it's a family thing, we served. That's what Lehmans have done on both sides of my family in every war going back to the Spanish American War," he said. 

At the ceremony in St. Charles, there was a moment of silence for service members who paid the ultimate price and a wreath laying.

"People don't realize what we've gone through to be free to have freedom here today," said Army veteran Thomas Stephenson who served in the Korean War.

The event was concluded with a 21-gun salute by members of American Legion Post 312 and the playing of taps.

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