KINGSTON, Pa. -- Veterans Day is a day for us to pause and thank those who answered the call, and in Luzerne County, the annual Wyoming Valley Veterans Day Parade honored men and women from all branches of the military.
The parade is one of the most popular in our area. Although the temperatures may have been a bit chilly, that didn't stop people from showing their love and appreciation for veterans. The parade route was jammed for the couple miles from Kingston to Wilkes-Barre.
Our nation's colors were on full display as hundreds gathered along Market Street in Kingston.
"Just proud that I can do this and do it for all our vets," said Ray Samolis, Army veteran.
As always, the parade route from Kingston to Wilkes-Barre was full of floats, motorcycles, and even a massive military tank.
Although the federal holiday fell on a Sunday this year and is being celebrated officially on Monday, that didn't stop people from all across our area from braving the cold to support America's veterans.
"You know what these fellas went through for us, and you can't thank them enough. You know being here shows them at least some respect," said Susan Miller of Dorrance Township.
Those who served in Vietnam tell us Veterans Day is both heart-warming and emotional. When soldiers arrived home stateside back then, they were treated harshly by people. Today's climate is much different.
"The parade is great for the Vietnam vets. When they came home from Vietnam, nobody said a thank you. They actually threw things at us. We march up the street the fans, people are clapping, yelling 'Thank you.' That means a lot to a vet," said Moe Rodzinak, Coast Guard veteran.
"It's heart-warming. It's really nice. It's a good feeling. I wish we had more of it," said James Hudock, Air Force veteran.
One woman was continuously waving an American flag while wiping tears from her face. Her husband was a Vietnam veteran and she said she had to decline an interview because she'd get too emotional.
Veterans also recognize this day is a special one, given it marks the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War I.
"Pride, very proud that I'm in the United States of America and I'm able to say that I was in the Army and I served and I protected for your freedom," said Martine Columbo, Army veteran.