A hero’s welcome: Honoring WWII veterans Friday

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- World War II veterans from the Triad plan to attend the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va. on Friday. The event will commemorate 70 years since that day when more than 9,000 allied soldiers died.

"Seventy years ago, our WWII veterans were 20 years old now they are in the twilight of their lives," said Jeff Sims, organizer of the D-Day Honor Trip. The trip will transport the veterans on five buses to Bedford and bring them home Friday afternoon to a hero's welcome. "For our WWII veterans this is going to, quite honestly, the highlight of the day.”

The buses are expected to leave Hanes Mall parking lot (outside the Food Court) around 7 a.m. Friday with Winston-Salem firefighters saluting them and erecting an American flag with two 70-foot ladder trucks.

"That's the greatest generation," said Tad Byrum, assistant fire chief. "They went through the depression and WWII and I think it's the least we can do for them."

The buses will return to the Hanes Mall parking lot around 6 p.m. and organizers hope a cheering crowd of thousands will be present.

"Give them the welcome home they really never got," said Sims. "Show them the love and appreciation deserving to them."

Organizers are asking the public to start assembling around 5 p.m. outside the Food Court of Hanes Mall.


  • FaithC

    They could have posted this earlier in the week so people could have arranged their schedule. I am busy with work, but I have rearranged my day so I can be there. They deserve a huge reception. Without them and men like them, we might not have the freedoms we have today.
    I don’t want to hear anything about us not having freedoms. If you think we don’t, you have never traveled to other countries and learned about what they can and can not do.

  • Heidy Brown

    I was raised to believe that the Flag hung upside down was a signal of distress and the only federally permissible reason to do so. Guess thinks have changed. I think someone should have told the fire department.

    • USMCVet

      It is not upside down. With a flag that large and the way that they have to display (as it can’t be correctly hoisted and fully displayed unfurled with only one ladder truck) this is correct display as the stars field is still considered on top, so in this instance it is correctly displayed. I am surprised if you were truly raised with the fundamentals of how to correctly display the flag you would make such an observation and comment??

  • Bran

    Wish I could but wouldn’t get there in time. More notice would have been wonderful. My Grandfather is a WWII vet.

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