Veterans Day birthplace celebrates in the cold

EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) -- In the birthplace of Veterans Day, people braved the cold to honor those who have served.

In 1953, an Emporia man named Alvin J. King proposed changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Kansas Congressman Ed Rees took the proposal to congress and the following year, the first Veterans Day was observed.

100 years after the armistice and 64 years since the first Veterans Day, Emporians still celebrate with pride.

"We have a lot to be proud of here and that’s one of the many things,” Mary Shepherd, an Emporian, said. “I am very grateful to all of our veterans and I think our country is awesome and it’s awesome because of what those men and women have done."

Shepherd enjoyed the parade with her granddaughter. She said it's not just a way to get her out of the house, but a way to teach her about patriotism.

"I thought this would be great, not just a parade but to introduce her to the idea of the veterans and being grateful to them,” Shepherd said. “The idea of our nation having this kind of a heritage, which is very special."

She said she hopes that after 100 years since the end of World War I, that we can learn from history as well.

"I think when World War I happened, we thought that was the war that would end all wars and sadly it hasn’t,” Shepherd said. “I think it’s important to remember these things so hopefully we won’t repeat some of the mistakes."

Following the parade, a memorial service has held at the All Veterans Memorial.