BELFAST – The Fourth of July is just days away. Our news team sat down with local veterans to talk about what Independence Day means this year.
Get a group of veterans of foreign wars together, ask them about independence under the umbrella of today’s political climate and you’re bound to get a lively discussion.
In 1968, there were demonstrations across the U.S., mostly against the Vietnam War.
Kenneth Smart served 14 years in the marines, including two tours in Vietnam.
“Well I feel that we’re still free, but there’s a time that’s coming that some of that will be taken away, if our government doesn’t do something about it,” Smart said.
For the past few weeks, from coast to coast, demonstrators have been marching in the streets protesting against racial injustice.
“The people who protested us when we come home from Vietnam, throwing things, spitting, cursing at us, well these people are doing this to the same colored guy. It’s the children of the people with us in Vietnam. It’s their children doing this now,” said Steven Brown, a Vietnam veteran. “So, that’s my feeling toward it.”
Just about every state has seen protests challenging the constitutionality of COVID-19 restrictions.
Carmine Pecorrelli, 95, served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War to protect America’s freedoms.
“We’re a great country. We’re a great country,” Pecorelli said. “And it shows in those who came to America from Poland, Ireland, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, from around the world.”
All three men are members of Belfast VFW Post 3108 and are proud of the role they played in defending American independence.