Louisville, Ky. (WHAS) – Downtown Louisville was filled with patriots Sunday as the Veteran’s Day Parade ran through the streets.
Many heroes were in attendance like Thomas Crump, who is a Pearl Harbor survivor.
“It was the most traumatic thing I have ever witnessed in my life,” Sgt. Major Thomas Crump said. “Being 91 years of age, I have witness an awful lot.”
Crump was a 20-year-old Marine at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 when Japan attacked on American soil.
“I was absolutely scared to death,” Crump said. “When you see bodies blown apart and bodies on fire during a situation like that, it stays in your gut for the rest of your life.”
Like many who serve the country, Crump remains humble about the amount of sacrifice he made for the United States.
But on Veterans Day he is honored, along with the millions of other servicemen and women, who are alive and who have passed.
The United States came from a historical past that wasn’t always equal.
“I was in a segregated outfit,” Thomas Cork said. “When I went to Korea, I was the only black in the outfit. When we got on the ship [white soldiers] wouldn’t even talk to me.”
Cork was one of the first black U.S. Marines. He received the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2011.
Cork is a member of the Montford Point Marines, joining the service in 1948. He served in the Korean War during a time of racial segregation in the country and also in the military.
“We knew the situation and we accepted it,” Cork said.
It’s a situation unaccepted today; in a nation where two men of difference races can stand as equals.