Monday morning in Bella Vista, speakers talked of great sacrifices. Many who served in the military never made it home. But one man, Staff Sergeant Norman Porath can tell his tale.
"I was in the US Army in World War II," said Porath. Porath was scheduled to be part of an invasion of Japan that never happened. "Because the atomic bomb dropped at the end of 45 there. We were scheduled to go to Japan, and because of that bomb, I did not have to go," said Porath.
Porath ended up going to Italy instead and while he says he never saw combat, he did see sacrifices made for America.
"I did see a lot of people coming home that we were replacing that were in bad shape," said Porath. Ironically, later in life, Porath ended up becoming a bomb maker.
"See I was on a secret government project. I was building electronic triggers for Atomic Bombs," said Porath. Porath was just one of many that keynote speaker Congressman Steve Womack spoke about. "It is the day we honor the men and women. More than a million of whom have given the sacrifice that means giving life for country," said Congressman Womack.
And that service is something Porath says he will never forget and something he hopes others will never take for granted. "We are so fortunate to be living in this country. I saw things overseas that if every American could see, they would have a whole different outlook on where we are and where we are going," said Porath.
Veterans from World War II, Vietnam, The Gulf War and current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were all represented during Monday's ceremony.