Whether it's a free admission to popular exhibits or lunch on the house, there are a number of great opportunities for veterans hoping to celebrate the day without breaking the bank.

On Monday morning, many people in downtown Nashville took time to honor and thank those who have fought for our freedom.

Forty-five groups of Tennessee veterans walked down Broadway as part of a Veterans Day parade.

Volunteers arrived around 9 a.m. to set up and have coffee ready to go on this chilly morning.

The parade began at 11 a.m. at Nashville Motors and stretched about a mile, ending at 3rd Avenue.

TSU honors former Tuskegee Airmen at Veterans Day ceremony

Tennessee State University honored two of the original famed Tuskegee Airmen who founded the university’s Air Force ROTC program during Monday’s Veterans Day ceremony.

Wade Thomas and Lt. Joseph White both graduated from then Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State College after being members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces during World War II.

Family members for Thomas and White were in attendance on Monday.

TSU President Glenda Glover honored the graduates and recognized all veterans.

“On this Veterans Day, we recognize the men and women of our Armed Forces for the courage and dedication it takes to maintain our freedom and democracy,” she said during the ceremony. “They are the true heroes, including those who are here with us today.”

White’s widow, Dr. Katie Kinnard White, attended the ceremony along with his nephew, Thomas Kinnard. She said her late husband would have been 97 this year.

“I am very pleased that he is being honored,” said White, who met her husband at TSU. “I always appreciated the fact that he was a Tuskegee Airman. He was very proud of that fact.”

Three of Wade’s family members, son George Thomas, who attended with brothers Axel and Karl and sister Korda, attended the program.

“He accomplished things that opened the door for a lot of blacks,” said Thomas at the ceremony. “It’s great to be able to celebrate him.”

Dr. Ivan Mosley, chair of the Department of Aeronautical and Industrial Technology in TSU’s College of Engineering, was the keynote speaker.

The ceremony was followed with a special performance by a TSU band ensemble and the United States Air Force Band of America.

Bridgestone America’s honor employees who served

Bridgestone America’s held a Veterans Day ceremony for a group at the company called Bravo, dedicated to bringing together active and veteran employees and their families.

“Veterans Day is intended to be a positive experience,” said Bravo President Todd Thiel. “We say happy Veterans Day to each other to commemorate that fellowship of service, that experience, so it’s a very happy day for us here at Bridgestone to get together and enjoy each other’s service.”

Franklin holds Veterans Day parade

Rain didn’t dampen the Veterans Day parade on Monday in Franklin.

One man who attended served during the Cold War and his father fought in World War I.

“My dad was in World War I and was there when it was over,” said Franklin veteran William Baird. “Much of his company was captured, killed and wounded.”

“I never understood,” said Elizabeth Gaines, whose brother is currently on active duty in the U.S. Navy. “I get the weight of it now. It’s important to be out here rain or shine.”

School bands and other groups were wet and cold, but proud to show their patriotism.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Reporter

Bethany Reese joined News4 at a reporter in October 2018.

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