Thousands gather for parade honoring Veterans Day - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Thousands gather for parade honoring Veterans Day

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- Thousands of people lined up along West Main Street in downtown Louisville to pay honor to the nation's Veterans.

But it wasn't just the tanks or the bagpipes playing the "Halls of Montezuma" that drew 89-year old Tom Swinney Jr. to Sunday's Veterans Day parade.

It began with the encouragement of his son, Tom.

"My dad's a World War II vet and I wanted to bring him down here," said Tom Swinney III, a retired Oldham County police officer.

His father, Tom Swinney Jr., served in the European theater during World War II.

"I started in England and went across the channel into France and then went all the way to Berlin," Swinney told WDRB News.

Swinney felt he had to be here to represent his generation.

"I just want to see it... It may be my last one. I'm going on 90 years old," he said.

Tom Swinney III recalled how as a young boy in the 1950s and 60s he used to watch the Veterans Day parade when it was held at night on Broadway with all the soldiers and their

tanks from Ft. Knox.

"And we just thought we'd come down and enjoy the afternoon," said Swinney III.

And enjoy the day they did. Even between the beats of the colonial drummer and the hum of the motorcycles, you could catch a glimpse of the elder Swinney saluting his fellow soldiers.

"It makes me feel good because it shows respect," said Swinney Jr.

Decorated in his navy blue veterans ball cap with gold lettering that spelled out World War II, the younger Swinney remarked about how his dad

is often thanked for his service when he often wears his hat.

That hat -- a symbol of so much more than service. To a proud son, it's a reminder of his father's legacy.

"If it weren't for them, and dad's generation, we might not be here now as far as this country is," said Swinney III.

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