Although Veterans Day was officially on Sunday, the Mid-South observed honoring its military veterans on Monday.
The city of Memphis hosted its annual Veterans Day parade. The 90-minute tribute to veterans wound its way through the downtown streets. Veterans groups from the Vietnam War to Desert Storm marched in a parade that stretched for miles.
"When I was a kid I used to sit on the corner and watch some old World War I vets lead the parade, and now I'm that old vet," said Joe Tiscia, Vietnam veteran. "So, it's very nice to do."
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Several high school marching bands honored our veterans but there were not that many spectators along the streets to watch the annual parade. After about 30 minutes of the parade it became apparent that there were more people participating in the parade than watching it.
"When I was young we looked at vets as more or less like old guys," said Robert Gurley, retired Air Force veteran. "Now we are the old guys and I started going to my reunions. Brings back a lot of memories. I would really like to see the population of the country really respect our vets. Give them what's coming to them."
That's not to say people don't care, and certainly those who took the time to stand outside along Second Street obviously cared. It's probably more about a lack of discretionary time than people not caring about our vets. Everyone is just trying to make it the best they can out there, but you could tell everyone there wanted more people to have been, well, there.
"People came out whether it was cold, sleet, or snow," said Pedrick Thompson, retired Air Force veteran. "I think vets deserve more credit. A lot of people need to come out and support our vets. We worked hard. I was an Air Force vet and we served. People should give us respect we are due."
Just when you thinking the worst of the good people of this country, FOX13 News ran into a group of Overton High School kids, who could have been sleeping late, but instead did what we really all want to do - say thank you to our veterans.
"we came out here to support the vets, because my granddad was also a vet and we just came down here to support," said one Overton High student.
A handful of veterans events were also held around metro Memphis. More than 200 veterans were the luncheon guests of Memphis 9th District Congressman Steve Cohen, an annual event that took place at the community service organization Bridges.
Rep. Cohen (D-Memphis), who was re-elected to his fourth term by voters on Nov. 6, told the attendees that a top priority for Congress and President Barack Obama next year will be to jump start the previously stalled "jobs bill for veterans."
Caseworkers were on hand to answer questions about benefits and services for veterans at the luncheon.
Veterans were also honored with a 21-gun salute and posting of colors at a ceremony at the West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery.
Many Mid-South businesses like Denny's, Red Robin, Spaghetti Warehouse, Lone Star Steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse, and T.G.I. Friday's also continued to honor military veterans by providing free or discounted meals and other discounts on merchandise.