Veterans Day Parade attracts WWII vets

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Marching bands, military gear and veterans all participated in Jacksonville's Veterans Day Parade which is one of the largest in the state.

Among the veterans in the parade were two World War II vets who both were in the D-Day invasionof Germany, one of the bloodiest battles of the war.

"I was 19 all during the war, 1944-45," said Frank Heppner who is now 88. Herode ina vintagejeep during the parade, one that was usedduring the war.

Samuel Meldrew, 90, who uses acane to get around was among the veterans who earned a Purple Heart meaning they were injured in battle.

Both menwere among the 17 million vets who returned from the war. Their numbers are now less than one million with 700 World War II vets dying every day.

"Don't remind me of it," said Meldrew who says he is blessed to be alive noting that his helmet saved his life.

"I was in an army reunion of my battalion, the group is down to about 10 veterans left now," said Heppner commenting on the dwindling number of World War II veterans.


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