Honoring veterans on the NC Capitol grounds

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Veterans Day holiday is Monday on your calendar. But on Saturday morning, a parade honoring those who've served America in uniform brought dozens of people to the state capitol grounds in Raleigh.

Everyone who gathered there agrees it's important to stand with those veterans now, especially those who served in the Second World War, before age and related illness claim them. Six hundred and fifty thousand veterans live in North Carolina now.

Marri Fryar, Chief Nurse Executive of the Durham VA Health Care System, asked the crowd to applaud, "Men and women, just ordinary people until they heard the call to duty, and they answered it."

Several people who assembled to honor the veterans have family members in the Armed Forces.

State representative Julie Von Haefen, the Democrat representing the 38th District, spoke with pride about her grandfather George Barr, a member of the Doolittle Rangers who spent three years as a prisoner of war after his plane went down in Japanese-occupied China.

"My grandfather received the Distinguished Flying Cross citation," she said. "Unfortunately I never knew my grandfather because he died at age 50, as a result of injuries he received during his time as a prisoner of war."

They're aware that war can leave scars that most people can't see, but require medical attention for many veterans.

"And our duty is to help them mend those wounds and help them to face those injuries," said Fryar, "either physical or mental, and figure out how to continue living in our communities today."

Naval veteran Michael Riccio wants everyone to pause this weekend, to "Think of all the men and women who are serving now in places, you can't even pronounce their names. And sometimes, they're not remembered. Today makes everyone cognizant of that. Veterans Day should be every day!"
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