DENVER -- James VanWormer is the very definition of a patriot. He served in the Vietnam War as a weapons mechanic.
"I loaded bombs onto the B52s," he said. "This is important to me. We need to stick together as a country."
Dylan Jones is just beginning to learn what those contributions really mean,
"It's a lot of fun. I'm a Cub Scout, so we get to march in the parade," he said.
And there are living history actors who want to bridge that gap.
"Kids love to learn about this stuff -- they always ask the same questions: 'Is that real? Is it heavy? Is that hot?' and we get to show them that this stuff is real and it actually existed and this is the way it was 100 years ago," said actor Mel Romero.
As the Veterans Day parade wound its way around downtown Denver, the sights and sounds were a celebration of the sacrifices America's heroes continue to make for our country. But the men and women who have seen war firsthand know that the country has come a long way, but has even further to go.
"I think we should have all the support we can get. It's getting better, but it needs to get a whole lot better," noted Richard Bridge, a Vietnam veteran.
And raising awareness -- especially for kids -- is one step in the right direction.
"They'll dig through their things -- through their family albums -- and see a picture of their great-great granddad wearing a uniform just like this, and they'll want to know exactly what that's about," said Romero.
While the past is remarkable and something to be honored not just today, but everyday, it's the future of the country that gives these veterans yet another reason to be proud.
"I'm proud to see these young people dressed up like that," VanWormer said as he watched ROTC members march down the road.
Because it's the men and women who continue to serve that ensure America stays the land of the free and the home of the brave.AlertMe