By Alex DeMetrick

The 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, marked the end of World War I.

Local leaders and service people gathered downtown Baltimore in honor of Veterans Day.

Alex DeMetrick
reports it’s been a day of public displays of thanks for veterans in Baltimore.

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Veterans Day got off to an early start with a small parade down Charles Street. The people marching spanned generations, there were junior ROTC members from area schools.  Those who marched in their youth still say they still remember how.   There was a motorcycle formation of veterans to make a local unit of the Buffalo Soldiers. The parade is the first one to happen in recent memory in Baltimore.

“When we asked our men and women to serve, we don’t ask them to do it at a convenient time for themselves. We work with them to pick a time where they wanted to celebrate the parade before we officially celebrate Veterans Day and we made it happen,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

The parade ended at the War Memorial Plaza for a formal presentation and speeches.

For some that time was long ago and each year a few less veterans make it to the War Memorial Plaza.  For those veterans that were there, it was a chance to reunite and reflect on what serving America means and costs. The sacrifices continue with two on-going wars.

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Those are the people, the first African American Marine Corps. general thinks of and shared with the crowd:

“It’s special to me because this country needs to be protected and it’s protected by us,” said Chester Wilton, veteran.

“I have friends that I lost. They’re right here in my heart, always will be,” said Tom Zentgraf, veteran.

Fallen comrades were honored with a tolling bell and a moment of silence. Baltimore’s Veterans Day commemoration is one of many small and large being held around the state.

The moment that ended World War I, did not mark the end of war. 

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This year’s Veteran’s Day falls on the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.