Veterans Day is a federal holiday honoring those who have served in the United States' Armed Forces. This holiday was previously known as Armistice Day and was established in 1918 to mark the end of World War I. Armistice Day is also celebrated in Canada, the United Kingdom and France.
Prior to the parade and flyover on Oak Street, remarks from Roanoke Mayor Scooter Gierisch, Retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Bill Guy, U.S. Marine Corps World War II Iwo Jima veteran Don Graves, and others were presented.
"I was 16 years old sitting in Detroit, Michigan in front of our house on Dec. 8, the day after Pearl Harbor," Graves said, who shared his story. "I want to tell you something, please. When we hit [Iwo Jima] beach... [We found a note that said] 'Fellas when you go home, tell the folks we did our best that they may have many more tomorrows'. Ladies and gentlemen, you have been enjoying those many more tomorrows."
According to the 2019 American Community Survey, only about 7% of Americans are veterans.