MEMPHIS, TN— On this Veterans Day there was a huge crowd at the Memphis National Cemetery to recognize those who've served our country. Young and old, alive and those who are gone they all share a common bond that binds them together like family. They are simply veterans.
“I am an American solider. I am a warrior. I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life,” said Honorable Judge John Donald of General Sessions Court and a veteran.
Veterans want to make sure you don't remember this day simply as a "holiday" but as a day to recognize those who have served and sacrificed.
"Veterans Day is to recognize all members who've ever served,” said Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs Mark Breece.
"I come year after year,” said World War II Veteran Eddy Spencer who attended Sunday’s ceremony at the Memphis National Cemetery. “I always come here.”
"I served both in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Army Veteran Bradley Harris.
Harris said all the American flags, patriotic music, and the big crowd created an indescribable feeling during Sunday’s ceremony.
"It means a lot really. It lets me know that we're appreciated,” said Harris.
Veterans told ABC24 News serving in the military creates a bond with their comrades that will never be broken. That may be hard for non-veterans to understand but they hope people will and give them the respect they've earned.
"Through the blood, their sweat, and their repeated deployments and sometimes loss of limb or life,” said Judge Donald while addressing the crowd. “The veterans’ legacy of duty, honor, and country must never be forgotten."
While many veterans are still fighting overseas many are fighting here to survive financially. A non-profit group called "Operation Stand Down Memphis, Inc." is trying to help struggling veterans reconnect with the community. The group says there are more than 6,000 homeless veterans in Shelby County. If you like more information you can contact Operation Stand Down at 901-864-9516 or email@example.com.