Perryville wins ‘National City of the Year’ for honoring veterans


Perryville has always had a sense of pride when it comes to recognizing and celebrating the military and its veterans.

The city was recognized for its efforts on Friday.

Perryville was named the “National City of the Year” at the 40 & 8 La Societe Des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux National Promenade in Green Bay, Wisconsin Sept. 16.

This honor comes off the heels of being named Missouri’s City of the Year in June.

For Perryville City Administrator Brent Buerck, who attended the ceremony along with Perryville Mayor Larry Riney, the award says more about the community than any one person.

“It is community recognition,” he said. “this was not an individual recognition for the Mayor or myself, but a recognition on the community’s history of supporting and recognizing our veterans.”

The award sets out to recognize a city who puts forth effort to celebrate its veterans and other military members. Buerck pointed out that the organization was impressed with the numerous monuments such as the Missouri National Veterans Memorial, the Wall of Honor in the City Park, and the numerous proclamations and events that are held throughout the year to celebrate the military and veterans.

“We are a veterans organization and one of the things we really look for are cities who are thankful for their veterans and do a lot of things for them,” Director of Special Awards Greg Hall said.

Hall was so impressed with the package of information set forth by Perryville for the award that he hopes to one day visit to see the different monuments and things that the city does to celebrate the military.

“I hope that I can get to Perryville one day,” Hall said. “I just turned 82 prior to the Promenade and I still have a lot of things to accomplish on my to-do list and one of them is to come to Perryville just because of the things that were mentioned about the city. It just sounds like a good place to go that has great people.”

Hall, a 22-year man of the United States military got choked up when discussing just what it means for cities to remember and recognize its veterans and military.

“When you talk to a veteran, they usually just say that they were doing what they had to do,” Hall said. “They are not looking for a lot of recognition, but when they do get it they appreciate it. It’s important for those who did not have the chance to serve their country understand how the veterans feel about what they do for their country.”

According to Hall, when a city wins the national award they are not eligible to win it again.

“it’s very important to the 40 & 8 that once a city wins, they have their plaque to show the world that they have done a lot for their veterans and very bit of it was much appreciated,” Hall said.

Perryville will still continue to honor its veterans, regardless of any award the city may earn in the future.

Buerck said that Perryville will continue to celebrate its veterans in the fashion and ways that it does because he feels that they helped shape the country into what it is today.
“Without our veterans the story of America is very different,” he said. “We are able to able to do what we do thanks to the contributions of our military. We appreciate them and try to show our thanks by doing the little things that we do throughout the year to say thanks for what they have given us. The veterans and military means a lot to many people in this community.”