Hundreds Turn Out For Fayetteville Veterans Day Parade

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Hundreds of people filled the Fayetteville Square Sunday (Nov. 13) to honor America's veterans.

In a crowd full of men and women who served the country, many were eager to share their stories.

Arkansas National Guard Director Tamhra Hutchins-Frye was a guest speaker at this year's event.

"It's the best thing I've ever done in my life," she said. "I was a school teacher for a while and I loved it, but I love being in the service and serving my country. I believe in this country and its people, and I want it to remain like it is."

Veteran Ramon Henry, who marched in the parade, said he is used to performing in front of a crowd.

"I used to wear my Navy uniform and carry a drum," Henry said. "I used to march around the square and play for everybody. I'm getting too old, the drum is getting too heavy."

Henry said he has always been a part of the musical side of the service and even played at some historic events.

"Bagpipes and drums, that's the main thing," Henry said. "I played [President] Kennedy's funeral. I was the only bagpiper in the Navy at the time and I was there when he got assassinated."

Both veterans agree about the importance of recognizing the sacrifices veterans have made.

"If it wasn't for our veterans, we wouldn't know America as we know it today," Hutchins-Frye said. "People died so that we could have the freedoms that we have and I think sometimes our generations forget."

This year's parade honored veterans of the Korean War and more than a dozen of them rode in the parade.

The Northwest Arkansas Veterans Day Parade has been an annual tradition for 17 years. The event was first organized in 1999 by the Fayetteville Lion's Club after the city went without a parade for 25 years.

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