The Metro Salutes Our Veterans

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Memorial Park Ceremony

56th & Underwood - 3:30 - 5 p.m.

The Wounded Warriors Family Support's High Five Tour will make a stop at Memorial Park. The event will wrap up a 48-state tour. The tour invites metro residents to show support for military families by stopping by and signing their car with a message of gratitude.

The Omaha community is celebrating Veterans Day by saying thank you to those who served. People are expressing their gratitude in many different ways.

Every year, an American flag is the star of the show at the Veterans Day program at Memorial Park. It takes a little bit of planning and work to hoist the huge banner between two fire engines and it takes a team of firefighters who are dedicated to the task.

Jerry Hall is one of them and he says, “We have respect for the flag as well; make sure we follow protocol; make sure the stars are poised in the right direction; make sure it doesn't touch the ground."

Ron Miller, a Vietnam veteran said, “There’s a lot of stuff that went on over there that I just don’t want to talk about, because it brings back memories."

Ron doesn't want to remember the fight, but he's proud of the symbol for which he fought.

“It means we got peace here in the United States,” he said. “It’s still a free country."

It means a lot to Ron and many other veterans to see the American flag fly so high. The firefighters who set up the stars and stripes are just as proud and happy to say thank you.

Hall said, “There’s a lot of us who are veterans as well and to help out the veterans, display the flag for them, it means a lot to us to be able to support them."

Several Hy-Vee stores in the metro said thank you to our veterans by providing a free breakfast for those who served.

Raymond Hairston went into the service in 1975. He said the way the country looks at its veterans has changed over the years.

“When I went in it was like a bad penny. It’s like we're a silver dollar now,” he said. “When people come together and give something back to the soldiers who served the country we really appreciate it.”

Over at the American GI Forum, they were giving away more than breakfast. Together with Cars for Heroes, the GI Forum was giving away a car to a veteran in need. This year, former active Navy and Navy Reservist Lisa Rodarte won the vehicle.

“I was kind of in shock,” she said. “I don’t have to ride my bike to work. It's a relief not to ride in the snow. It’s a good support system. I'm grateful they're standing by my side.”

“We try,” said Dr. Larry Bradley, commander of the Omaha American GI Forum. “It’s good that everyone can come together and they do not forget their veterans, try not to, not in this country.”

The Cars for Heroes program gives away more than 300 cars a year.


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