MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - For about 45 minutes Monday, Riverwalk Stadium became hallowed ground for military veterans. It was on the field where the Capital Sounds Concert Band honored the servicemen and women with patriotic songs and guest speakers delivered stirring words to remember what they gave up for us.
One hundred years ago. “It was the first anniversary marking the end of World War l which occurred on the 11th hour, the 11th day and the 11th month," said Maxwell Air Force Commander of the 42nd Wing, Col. Patrick J. Carley.
An American president declared the country’s first Armistice Day, a day later to include all veterans of the military. Today at Riverwalk Stadium, they remembered.
“And we are the land of the free because we are the home of the brave," said Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.
“For without you, we would not have many of the freedoms and enjoy many of the liberties we have today," added Mayor-elect Steven Reed.
They honored people like Everett Cole who lost both legs in Vietnam.
“I turned 20 in Vietnam. I stepped on a landmine on May 22, 1969,” Cole recalled.
“Had a couple of friends I had lost in the war and a couple of friends got banged up real bad and they were on my mind,” said former Army soldier George Jones.
There were patriotic songs complete with the flyover of a C-130. The ‘salute’ came in many different forms.
Another Veterans Day is in the books, another day to remember those who sacrificed so much and then some.
Cole, for one, says he has no regrets and never allowed himself to become bitter with his circumstances. “I would do it today," he said.
Veterans like Cole and Jones were heroes on the battlefields in foreign lands and more so here at home, soldering on one step at a time.