Remembered: Veterans Day commemorated in many ways

| November 20, 2012 | 0 Comments
Soldiers of 2-35th Inf., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, currently training at Pohakuloa Training Area, march in a Veterans Day parade, Nov. 10.

Soldiers of 2-35th Inf., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, currently training at Pohakuloa Training Area, march in a Veterans Day parade, Nov. 10.

Story and photo by
Staff Sgt. Cashmere Jefferson
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division

HILO, Hawaii — “It was 1944 at the time, and I was never on the ground.

“I dropped bombs all over Germany. I was proud to serve. I was part of one of the best generation of Soldiers ever.”

Those were the words of 90-year-old World War II B-24 bomber pilot Walter Huges, 93rd Bomb Group, 330th Bomber Squadron, who flew 35 special missions across Europe and marched in the Veterans Day parade, Saturday, here, alongside veterans past and present.

Hundreds of citizens, both young and old from the island of Hawaii, lined the streets to pay their respects during the parade.

Louis Roach Jr., deputy garrison commander, Pohakuloa Training Area, recalled a time in the 1960s when veterans didn’t receive a parade when they got home, but were instead met with hostility.

“When we came home from Vietnam, vets didn’t get welcomed like this,” Roach said. “People would spit on us and throw stuff at us when we got home, and at times, I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing there even though I went to serve at the call of my nation. We have come a long way.”

Roach added he has served in every war since he was 18, from Vietnam to Desert Shield and Desert Storm, to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I love my country, as I know all veterans do and would do it all over again if I got the chance,” Roach said.

Veterans from most eras of time were present, whether they were marching in the parade or standing in the streets dressed in the uniform of their service.

Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, currently training at PTA, also marched in the parade.

Spc. Daniel Lee Joy, forward observer, Co. C, 2-35th Inf., had been deployed to Afghanistan but was able to participate in the parade.

“I come from a family of veterans, so I’m proud to be here and I’m proud to serve,” said Lee Joy.

“It felt great to be honored by the community for the sacrifices we’ve made and will for our country,” he added.

Veterans Day Origins

Nov. 11, 1918, is generally considered the end of World War I, The Great War, and the war to end all wars.

In 1938, Congress declared Armistice Day a holiday, and, in 1954, the name changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans.

Honoring veterans on Nov. 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but also helps focus attention on its purpose to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for freedom.

The Army’s theme for Veterans Day was “Soldier for Life.”

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Category: Army Community Covenant, Community, Observances, U.S. Army Garrison-Pohakuloa (USAG-Pohakuloa)

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