ROCHESTER, MN (FOX 47) -- On Tuesday, the nation recognized thousands of armed forces who served this country and are currently serving now. This is the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
"I was a field machinist, a welder."
"79th military police company."
"Artillery unit up in what is known as the Iron Triangle."
"A simple heartfelt thank-you from all of you means more to them than any medal I could pin on their chest. And that heartfelt thank-you means more to them than you can ever imagine," explains Brigadier General, Gerald Lang.
The New Life Church in Rochester prepared breakfast for more than 700 veterans and their family members. All veterans were recognized Tuesday morning for their service to the United States.
"I went in at 19 years old. A farm kid, not knowing, quote, unquote, anything. Supposedly, you come out as a man, but you've got to learn the hard way," says Larry Pederson, who served in Vietnam in the Army's artillery unit.
"Each of them knew what their duty was, but surly they all dreamed of going home to their families and the ones that they loved. And yet they all answered the call to arms. And not because they love war, but because for a higher purpose. Because they love liberty, justice, and the right to live in a world free of tyranny," exclaims Lang.
Many recognized there were differences between the different generations of soldiers and wars. But in the end, each armed force, comprised of a wide age range of veterans, was honored. And those who were lost during service were also remembered.
Several local shops are doing what they can. All three Rochester Hy-Vees gave away free breakfasts to veterans this morning. And the Simonize at 3939 West River Parkway is giving away free car washes to veterans with a military ID.
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