RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia War Memorial honored the men and women who served during their annual Commonwealth’s Veterans Day ceremony Monday.
8News spoke with veterans Monday, and whether they were on the front lines during World War II or manning security measures during the Korean War, the word used by all of them was thankful.
“A day to honor all of our heroes who have served and continue to serve in our Armed Forces.”
On the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the month, the guns fell silent, ending World War I.
“I’m proud of my country and I’m proud to have served my country and made it free for everybody,” said Larry Rohr, an Army veteran.
Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1918. Monday marked the 101st year anniversary which is how old ceremony attendee and Army vet Robert Bludford will be next month.
“It’s great to have people appreciate what you do,” Bluford said.
“Thank you for your service,” said Gov. Ralph Northam, who was in attendance. The Virginia Governor spoke about his days at Virginia Military Institute, in addition to taking care of vets when they returned home. The governor said that the state of Virginia employs more than 55,000 veterans. The state is working to build two more Veterans Care Centers.
On Monday, vets of all ages and backgrounds remembered their days of service.
“I sent the message back to the United States that the Russians were invading Czechoslovakia,” Rohr said.
Monday’s ceremony also remembered those who never returned home from active duty.
“To me, the guys that didn’t make it back are the true heroes,” said Joseph Tarantino, an Army veteran. “The ones that did make it back, whether we were wounded or not, we survived. I just feel so sorry for the families.”
It’s why every year on Nov. 11, music is played and flags waved, as Richmonders say thank you for veterans’ bravery and service.