LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — It was just like any other Friday at Monument Terrace in Lynchburg.
Dozens of veterans from multiple organizations gathered for the Support Our Troops rally. It’s something that’s been going on every Friday since 2001, through sun, snow, and rain.
Friday, Jan. 29, however, held a special meeting for some of the rally’s founders.
It’s the 1,000th consecutive Friday they’ve met to live up to the rally’s name.
“I thought 100 would be about it, that we’d win the war just like the Gulf War and be over with,” said Steve Bozeman, Vice President of Lynchburg Area Veterans Council. “The next thing you know, we’re here 19 years plus, and we’re going to be here for a while.”
Bozeman was the ceremony’s emcee, introducing speakers of all kinds to commemorate the occasion, from elected leaders to eight-year-old musical guests.
“We stand tall because we stand on the shoulders of giants, and you all are the giants,” said Virginia Congressman Ben Cline at the podium.
Local Del. Wendell Walker was also in attendance and read aloud a commendation from the General Assembly, recognizing the rally for honoring the service and sacrifice of the men and women in the armed forces.
“We’re very excited about being a part of this community of veterans and doing a lot of good in the community,” Bozeman added.
The celebration featured more than just speakers.
Law enforcement agencies from around the City of Lynchburg and its surrounding counties drove a parade past Monument Terrace.
The Lynchburg Association of Realtors approached the stand with a surprise donation to the veterans council of $15,904.31.
Near the end, Bozeman read the names of area veterans who have passed on, at least he tried to, as some of the names on the list were close to him.
“A lot of those are my family members: my son, my step-son, my father-in-law, my brother, my mother, and there are also veterans who I knew, personally, very well,” Bozeman said.
With strong community support, Bozeman is confident these rallies will continue on for Fridays to come, keeping the memories of those who paid the ultimate price alive and well.