Veterans Day parade in Beaufort - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Beaufort hosts 2013 Veterans Day Parade

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BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) -

People in the Lowcountry paid tribute to our men and women in uniform with a parade through downtown Beaufort.

The Veterans Day parade in Beaufort concluded at the Beaufort National Cemetery to honor the military veterans of past and present.

In a community filled with military veterans, it was only fitting to pay tribute to those who fought for our nation's freedom. It was a humbling experience for Robert Waldrop, a World War II veteran and a two-time POW.

"I was an armored gunner aboard a B-17 bomber and we got shot down on Feb. 4, 1944. I sure appreciate this, makes you know that people don't forget," said Waldrop.

Among the veterans who joined him in this year's parade are Christine Wildenthaler and Linda Priest of the Women Marines Association.

"It's just heartwarming to see when we go out here now considering Vietnam, the difference in how we support our troops is. It's amazing," said Wildenthaler.

As the parade made its way downtown, the patriotic people of Beaufort showed these veterans that they haven't forgotten.

At the Beaufort National Cemetery, Lt. Col. Patrick Fitzgerald from MCAS Beaufort delivered the keynote address.

"I've served this country for over 18 years and I've never been in a position to actually say 'thank you' to our service members and those families that have lost loved ones in defense of our country," said Fitzgerald.

The ceremony also paid tribute to those still missing in action.

"In order for us, in order for our sons, our daughters and in order for our grandchildren to be free," said Priest.  

There are more than 20,000 military veterans and spouses buried in the Beaufort National Cemetery.

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