NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - World War II veteran Joe B. Davis says he's watched a lot of history, sharing the things he's seen with his family for decades.
Memorial Day marked a very important birthday for Davis, his 100th.
"You just came to see me?" Davis asked a man he'd never met after he walked through the door.
"I came to see you," the man answered. "That's what I did, yes."
The house was full of people, gifts and balloons.
In 1942, Davis was living near Fifth Street and Shelby in a very different Nashville. He went to a movie at the park one night and saw a soldier talking to a young woman named Ruby.
"He was getting closer to this pretty girl," smiled Davis. "I said, 'I better make my move!' I worked my way up and started talking to her."
"Of course, you know who that is," said Davis with a laugh, holding up a photo of he and Ruby from the early 1940s. "He's a little different lookin' fella than he looks today."
Two months after meeting Ruby, Davis was drafted into the Army to serve in World War II.
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"I said, 'will you wait for me to come back?'" remembered Davis. "She said, 'yes.'"
Davis was stationed in places including Sicily, every day keeping a New Testament close.
"I kept it, and in every spare minute in combat, I would read it," he said, gripping that same New Testament.
"I got hit and was in the hospital," Davis continued. "If it hadn't been for that, I would've been in D-Day."
After many months and many letters home, the war ended.
"It felt good when I saw the Statue of Liberty," said Davis.
Davis and his wife, Ruby, started a long life together, 65 years of marriage.
Ruby passed away 11 years ago.
Monday, generations of family, old friends and people who'd never met Davis before came in for a handshake and a thank you.
"I'm glad to see the day a lot of people thinks a lot about the service," said Davis. "If we hadn't done it, we wouldn't have our freedom."