Lynchburg, VA - Lynchburg saw one of its largest crowds in a while for its annual Veterans Day Observance at Monument Terrace. Organizers say more than 300 people showed up to honor veterans here at home and those across the country.
The day was all about vulnerability. The keynote speaker began by saying he was more nervous today, than he was while flying over Iraq. The ceremony was really raw and it was a treat to witness.
"Everybody in the family's been in the military and we've got a long history and tradition of that," said veteran Richard McGann.
Personal stories like that of Richard McGann and his family.
"My father was on the Battle Ship in WWII, BB-61," said McGann. "My grandson is in the Marine Corps," said McGann as he flashed a photo.
McGann spent four years in the Navy.
If you look even closer at this crowd., you will find sprinkled in a rare type of veteran.
"World War II," said veteran Earl Washington.
There are so few left in Lynchburg, that you could count on one hand the number in attendance.
"I was an infantry soldier, M1 rifle," said veteran Bill Collins. The 87-year-old spent nine months overseas in England, Germany and France.
"I love this country and always will," said Washington.
Washington was part of the Red Ball Express.
"I'm always going to be active. I'm getting older, but I'm going to be active," said Washington.
Just three stories out of a sea of courageous men and women.
"You get such an enjoyment in seeing the veterans come together and enjoy themselves," said Collins.