Beaufort holds tribute to veterans

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 5:05 PM EST
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - The Beaufort County Veterans Day parade started and ended just outside the Beaufort National Cemetery, where thousands of veterans have been laid to rest.

While there were festivities and bands Thursday at the parade, one veteran said that this day should just be about remembering their service.

“It’s a day that Americans should hopefully stop and realize that, you know, there’s a heck of a lot of people that we stand on their shoulders, and they went before us and they did things that we don’t want to do to make sure that we have the country that we have today,” said John Stump. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

He served 23 years, and says his parents are both resting at the Beaufort National Cemetery, making this day and this place all that more special.

Chris Ophardt is the county’s public information officer, and he is also a veteran with a different understanding of his service than he expected.

“May 2001, I graduated college as lieutenant in the United States Army and I thought it was going to mean something completely different to be honest, and then 911 happened while I was in artillery basic school and I took on a whole new meaning,” Ophardt said.

He knows on this day more than most, people voice their appreciation for service like his. Ophardt says while thank yous are great, sometimes listening can mean more.

“If there’s one piece of advice, I give people that did not serve today is, find a veteran and say more than thank you, just say hey I would love to hear a story. I’d love to hear your story,” Ophardt said.

A day where many stories have passed on, but others, celebrated as they deserve.

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