Sunday was a day to recognize the selfless dedication of those who have served and continue to serve our country.
Judge John Donald, a military veteran, made it very clear all of our rights - from freedom to protest, to freedom of the press - are all because of our soldiers.
Judge Donald also said when defining a veteran, don't use the Webster Dictionary definition. A veteran is someone who at one point wrote a blank check to the United States of America, adding that the maximum payment is their life.
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But veterans, he says, may not be getting the recognition they deserve for this selfless deposit.
Ernest "Eddie" Spencer was 21-years-old when he entered World War II he says he was ripe as a peach. At the ripe age of 93, he's still telling his stories around Sunday's Veterans Day program at the Memphis National Cemetery.
"A lot of people say, 'Tell me about what happened in World War II,'" he said. "Well, they don't want to say anything. I never did mind. I dream of it half the time. I relive it so many times."
Spencer wasn't even shy about sharing stories with Mayor A C Wharton.
"I told him, I handed him this, I said, 'Do you remember that?,'" Spencer said. "Two years ago he wanted to see my name and I gave him this."
"The numbers are getting fewer and fewer," Mayor Wharton said. "He's one of the few and he's always going to be here in full uniform. He tells me how proud he was to serve."
Memphis' mayor has a son in the military but is back in the country. Though he attended Sunday's service and is thankful his son is back home, he attended the Veterans Day event as a thank you to the parents whose children are overseas serving.
Judge Donald said in his speech, more and more people are going about their everyday lives not acknowledging the sacrifice our troops make for us. He says it seems out of sight really is out of mind.
"We take for granted the election we just went through," Wharton said. "Not one shot was fired, a full election. How many countries can say that?"
"People talk about, 'I did this, I marched here, I marched there, and I protested here, I protested there.' They're the ones who want all the credit for the right to protest," Judge Donald added. "Well that belongs to the soldier."
Donald says we need to pay tribute to veterans, like Spencer, not just on Veterans day, but every day of the year.
"These veterans who are with us today are supposed to be public charges," Judge Donald said. "We are supposed to continue to be about their well being and their welfare."
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