MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The Veterans Affairs office in Maryville hosts the 52nd United Veterans of Blount County Memorial Day program Saturday. Many veterans, families and community leaders gathered on the lawn of the Blount Co. Courthouse to salute those who lost their lives in combat.
Vietnam Veteran Pat Henry says it is emotional to hear the names of fallen soldiers being read aloud because he remembers the trying days of his own service.
"I can't put into words for those people who are friends of mine, great friends of mine, I served in service with," Henry says.
Key note speaker, Clayton Narveson, is a World War II Marine veteran who takes pride in speaking on behalf of his fellow servicemen and women. He also uses his experience and stories to educate school children as well as business and civic groups.
"170 presentations plus a few others. I like kids," Narveson says. "A rededication to the thinking and we should not ever forget it."
The program concluded with a ground breaking ceremony for a restored monument that will go on to honor those fallen soldiers. The monument that stands now has deteriorated throughout the years due to weather and age.
Nathan Weinbaum is the Director at the Department of Veterans Services says it is an honor to help others remember their loved ones and veterans.
"It's time to give those that were killed in action here in Blount County a first class memorial," Weinbaum says. "We need to pay our respects to those who gave us our freedom."
Honored to meet 92yr old WWII veteran Clayton Narveson who says he wants to help veterans bc he loves his country. pic.twitter.com/UnQkawNVDt— Sara Mitchell (@SaraMitchellTV) May 28, 2016