Armed Forces Day in Pigeon Forge

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Pigeon Forge (WVLT) -- Taps were echoing in the East Tennessee hills this morning.

It was a tribute, part of celebration of National Armed Services Day.
Trumpet players and veterans from across Sevier County gathered to honor and remember those soldiers overseas and here at home that serve and have served our country.

Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy went to Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge, where the trumpets were blowing.

Though services were held in national cemeteries across the country today, American Legion Post 104's veterans didn't have to travel far, and with the the help of some high school trumpeters, they held their own.

"I haven't served in the military," says Andrew Temple, a high school senior from Sevier County and trumpeteer. "I don't see myself, but I do have a great respect for those who served in the military."

Temple came along with nearly a dozen trumpeteers from Sevier County high schools to honor US soldiers at Patriot Park for Armed Forces Day. Similar services were held across the country to pay respect for men and women in uniform.

Trumpeteers were lined along both sides of the street to pay their respect to the people who serve our country everyday.

"We know a lot of people won't go 50 or so miles to something but we wanted to do something for the people who are right here," says Marty Hammontree, who organized the service with the American Legion Post 104 color guard.

Citizens around East Tennessee feel connected to the soldiers who have lost their lives while serving their country. In just the last two weeks, East Tennessee has lost two soldiers in Iraq.

"We always feel very deeply for all the military who give the ultimate price, we were all willing to do it," says Pete Yoakum. "Our hearts go out to their relatives and friends."

"There's a lot of patriotic people at least, but a lot of people don't involve themselves because they're so busy with what they are doing at the moment," says Hammontree.

Temple agrees thank you can only go so far. "You can say thank you but I don't think thank you's good enough. I mean, they're putting their lives on the line."

Temple along with his classmates that were in attendance all agreed that it was necessary to pay their respects to the people who serve in the military. Temple wants to encourage others to attend events like these in their areas.

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