HONORING VETERANS: Hundreds gather at the Chattanooga National Cemetery on Veterans Day
People from across the Tennessee Valley gathered at the Chattanooga National Cemetery to pay their respect to our local heroes for Veterans Day.
Every branch of service was represented and honored during the program.
Representative Chuck Fleischmann, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke all gave their remarks ahead of the keynote speaker. Each honored the men and women who've served our country.
Channel 3 spoke to both veterans and city leaders at the event.
"Anything that we enjoy it's because of veterans. Veterans like me and veterans that are serving today," said Vietnam veteran Marvin Bodley.
Bodley was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War, serving in the army from 1967 to 1970.
"Two years, 11 months, 28 days, and 30 seconds," Bodley recalled the exact time he spent enlisted.
He was a POW and later given a Purple Heart. In 2012, then Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett made May 25th Dr. Marvin L. Bodley Day.
While he's thankful for his recognition, he says there are too many other veterans who died without the honor they deserved.
"When we show our pride, we show our pride for the whole group. There are no individual heroes in a war," Bodley told Channel 3.
Whether young, old, Democrat, or Republican, city leaders say everyone is simply an American.
"We all come together as we should come together as Americans to honor the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States," Rep. Chuck Fleischmann told Channel 3.
The event served as a reminder that freedom isn't free.
"Freedom is here because of our veterans. They have served time and time again," said Fleischmann.