World War veterans return to warm welcome from thankful citizens | Families
When thousands of soldiers returned from war decades ago, their return was nothing like Sunday’s warm Rochester welcome.
Hundreds of people gathered at Rochester International Airport this morning to greet over 40 veterans -- and it was an emotional welcome to say the least.
Francis Pearson, a veteran, told us, “Those memories were pretty, were Hell. But being here is a different story.”
Family, friends and complete strangers gave several veterans a welcome home they never received.
“He got off a train and he was picked up by his dad. There was no one there to cheer him on or to thank him,” supporter Emily Williams expressed to us.
But after a two day trip to Washington D.C. -- they came home to open arms letting them know that their service will never be forgotten.
Supporter, Mary Masciangelo, told us, “I love all the servicemen, what they did for us, what they went through.”
Linda Layton supported also, saying, “Sometimes we don't think about it. We take our freedom for granted. I want to say to them, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
It was an emotional trip for some of these veterans. Some say visiting the World War II memorial stirred up old memories from the past -- some good, some bad -- but Sunday it was a celebration of both.
“I've had a wonderful and long life and this was something extra special. It's a great day,” veteran, Richard Falvey, told us.
He was overwhelmed by the support and some of his fellow veterans are terribly ill. He says patriotism like this brings all veterans back to life.
Falvey truly believes, “They talk about this like it's the beginning of the end. I look at it like it's a brand new beginning.”