Veterans discuss Fourth of July - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Veterans discuss the meaning of the Fourth of July

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Chuck Manikas (Source: WSFA 12 News) Chuck Manikas (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Wyndol Murrah landed on Omaha Beach just six weeks after D-Day (Source: WSFA 12 News) Wyndol Murrah landed on Omaha Beach just six weeks after D-Day (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Wyndol Murrah was in the middle of his studies at Auburn when his nation called him to duty.

It was 1944 and America was beginning its assault on German forces in Europe.

"It means everything to me. Independence Day, Memorial Day...it all just means to me that we live in one great country and we always have and I hope to god we always will," Murrah said. 

Murrah landed on Omaha Beach just six weeks after D-Day and traveled throughout Europe as a rifleman. Since then, Independence Day has had a special meaning for him.

"If we hadn't gone over there and if we didn't have the unity that we have in America and the cohesiveness that we have, to act together as a country, as a whole, we all might be speaking German by now," Murrah said.

Some veterans feel more people should spend the holiday honoring their country and those who protect their freedoms. 

"It is our national independence day. I wish more people would fly the flag you know, to celebrate the Fourth of July. I wish more people would go to the parades and honor their American independence," said Chuck Manikas, a Vietnam War veteran. 

Knowing he might not have come back from combat makes Murrah grateful for every day.

"I don't know how many more years I have, but I'm gonna enjoy them and I'm going to enjoy the fourth of July and then every day. Just wake up in the morning and feel good, which I do. Thank the lord," Allen said.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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