We had one of the largest turnouts for a great veterans Day parade and program on the square. I noticed that we had very few teenagers in attendance. This has been true for the past three or four Veterans Day parades. The only time I can remember when there were a number of them there was the year that school was in session, we had the Franklin High Band march in the parade. We wish they could do it every year and add live music to the program.
These teens are going to be veterans themselves some day and they are going to feel the same way that we veterans of today feel. If these students of today aren't getting an education about wars that this country has been in, they can't understand that the liberty that they enjoy was won by young men and women like themselves. Probably half of those fighting in WWII got into uniform while they were still teenagers. When I graduated in 1944, all but six of the boys in my class joined the service. Of that number, 240 joined the Navy, 40 the Army and Army Air Corps and four, the Marines. All of these were volunteers.
The numbers of WWII and Korean War veterans still with us are encouraging, but we lose a good number each year. Most of them still able to do it, showed up to let everyone know they can still make roll call.
We had an added part to the day’s activity. The Art Association presented portraits to some of us veterans that local artists had painted, using old photos that were taken in the early days of their military and Naval careers.
God bless us all and the United States of America.
Bob Litten — Franklin, N.C.