One face in the crowd at the Longview's Veteran's Day celebration ceremony has a deep connection to veterans day, he served his country in not one, but two wars. 81 year old East Texas native Luther Townsend tries not to think much about his own military service, but about the service of men who never made it home.
"Everybody should come to these events to show respect for the ones who gave their lives" the veteran says.
For 3 years, Townsend was involved in the bloody battles with the Japanese in the pacific, fighting on New Guinea, the Solomons and the Philippines. He later fought in Korea. And was one of the lucky few to live to tell about it. Ceremonies like these bring his memories flooding back.
"I beat the odds I spent 3 years there. Something comes up and it triggers these thoughts in your mind you can remember the exact date and time, especially when a good buddie got killed" says Townsend.
As he listened to speakers talk of honor and commitment, he's reminded that only those who've worn a uniform in service may really understand what veteran's day is.
"Its for freedom, and people who've never been in places where there is no freedom they really don't realize what we have" he says.