Knoxville Celebrates our Veterans

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Thousands lined the streets of downtown Knoxville to say thanks to those who have served to protect America.

Volunteer TV's Lauren Davis went to the annual Veterans Day Parade Friday.

The parade honored America's veterans, both past and present.

And as we enter the end of our fourth year in Iraq, many veterans tell us they have mixed emotions about the current situation.

But they say one thing is for sure: they support our troops.

A 21-gun salute and the National Anthem began the parade on Friday.

"I really like it, it really makes me proud I served," said Harvey Weldon, a Vietnam Veteran.

Notes from high schoolers' trumpets and trombones fill the streets honoring the brave men and women who've served.

Workers peered from windows to get a birds-eye view of the spectators below and the Vietnam Veterans.

Up a little higher, the Knox County Sheriff Department's chopper and a plane flew by.

From politicians to policemen, and cars to kids, Knoxville joined together to celebrate American troops.

"I love the parade to honor men and women for their sacrifice for our freedoms we enjoy," said Gen. Gus Hargett, Adjutant General with the Tennessee National Guard.

The 844th Engineer Battalion recently back from Iraq marched alongside tanks.

Boots on the U.S. pavement, while fellow soldiers stomp the sands overseas.

2007 has been the deadliest year for U.S. forces, with 853 fallen this year, and 3,856 U.S. forces killed in all.

But some veterans think America can still win the war.

"I believe we should stay there until we come out a victory," said Gary Drennon, a Vietnam Veteran.

But others aren't so optimistic.

"It's time to end we've been there long enough," said Frank Davis.

And, for some, it reminds them of the war they served only to come home to no support.

"I didn't believe in the vietnam war either and I didn't think it was right either," said Harvey Weldon.

Whatever their beliefs on Iraq, everyone agreed on one thing, the support for our troops this Veterans Day.

After the parade, there was a special luncheon for the veterans at the foundry on the fair site.

Veteran's day is officially this Sunday.


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