Low Country Veterans Honored with Parade, Wreath

Folks in the Low Country came out in force today to show their appreciation for our veterans. Thousands lined the streets to honor veterans and the men and women actively serving today. They cheered personnel from all branches of the US military. Several high school bands, along with marching JROTC units, proudly marched through downtown Beaufort for the city's third annual Veterans Day parade.

After the parade, the Beaufort community gathered at the National Cemetery for a special ceremony to honor all those who have served our great nation. WTOC was at the ceremony and spoke with local veterans about their day. For many veterans, the day is full of emotion and pride.

"It's a big day to me," said Vietnam vet Ruben Cedeno. "I like to see all the veterans show our support for our troops."

"I always look forward to it and hope I'm around for it when it happens every year," said Robert Waldrop, who served in World War II.

Veterans Day is not only a time to honor those men and women who have served our nation, but to remember all those fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. "Just keep thinking about all the friends you've lost," said Cedeno. "I lost so many in Vietnam."

"It was a very moving experience to have these men, some of them died in my arms, so Veterans Day has a special meaning to me," said Brig. Gen James Leach (Ret.), a WWII veteran.

A special wreath was placed at the National Cemetery to remember those fallen heroes. Although these veterans have already served their country, their thoughts and prayers aren't far from the battlefields in Iraq. As Waldrop put it, "I'm with them all the time, and hope we can get that thing over with."

Veterans say they like to see flags flown high not only on days like this but throughout the year.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com