The state House and Senate honored about 45 World War II veterans Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the war’s end this month.
A group of lawmakers, lobbyists and staffers greeted the veterans when they arrived at the Legislative Building as bagpipes played. Both chambers passed a resolution honoring their service. And numerous legislators spoke about the legacy of World War II veterans.
“These people are absolutely terrific people,” said Sen. John Alexander, a Raleigh Republican who helped organize the event. “After the war was over, they came back and built the greatest country this world has ever known.”
In the House, Republican Rep. Craig Horn of Union County noted that about 1 million veterans from the war are still alive. “These brave men and women assembled here today gave the world hope in its darkest hour,” he said.
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Retired Air Force Col. Durwood Williams, who flew a fighter plane in the Pacific, thanked the legislature for arranging the event.
“I never, in my wildest dreams, would have seen myself speaking in such a forum,” Williams said. “Freedom is a fragile state – it’s not a thing, it’s a state. Every generation is called to defend the freedom that their fathers leave them.”