CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - You don't see many of these around the country anymore. But on Friday, Chattanooga paused for the annual Armed Forces Day parade downtown.

"This day means a lot to me, especially in Chattanooga, that ever since there has been an Armed Forces Day, we've had a parade," said Chattanooga native, retired USAF Tech Sergeant Ray Belvin. 

He also said this is more than just a parade. Not a day goes by that he's not reminded of his over 20 years in service.

"We had a shell explode three feet from me in Korea," said Belvin. "I spent the next seven months in the hospital."

Belvin stood just a few feet from the ultimate sacrifice. It is a price many paid for freedom, and that's why he knows how important this day is.

Belvin says, "Today is a day to commemorate the freedom that we enjoy. Without the military, there is no freedom."

No freedom leads to an uncertain future, which is why Skylar Wolfe is so proud of her older brother, a sophomore at central in the ROTC.

Wolfe says, "He wants to live the military life, and I'm proud of him, because that's just a great thing to do for our country."

Chattanooga is one of the few cities in the country that still do an Armed Forces Day parade. Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey says that is just another reason to be proud of our community.

"We still honor our military. We still say thank you for the service they provided, to help provide the freedoms we have," says Ramsey. "It's a tradition that's been carried out for many years, and I hope to see it continue."

Mayor Claude Ramsey says no one day can make up for all the armed forces have done, but this day does help. He does not want to see it go away.