DALLAS - There were strong turnouts for patriotic ceremonies in Dallas and Fort Worth honoring veterans.
The second-largest Veteran's Day parade in the country kicked off at 11 p.m. at Union Station. Before it there was a ceremony with military honors including taps and a U.S. Air Force missing man flyover.
Over 150 men and women also took the oath of enlistment in front of Dallas City Hall and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush gave the keynote address that related to this year's theme of honoring military families for their sacrifices.
"Being a veteran and going off to war myself, it's not only the service member it's the families. And being without us, it's the shock of not knowing what the result will be. But we do it from our heart. It's an open check, a blank check we write and so do our families. And the support we receive from them at home is kind of unexplainable," said Navy veteran Mark Santoyo.
Ret. Col. Joseph Cordina has served the country for 30 years. He was a U.S. Air Force pilot who fought in the Vietnam War and then worked in Washington D.C. and at the Air Force Academy.
“When a person joins the military and comes on board, not only are they serving our nation, they’re serving their family as well,” Col. Cordina said. “There is sacrifice because there’s many, many days, months and sometimes years in service away from your home and away from your family. But the family comes together and understands the importance of necessity, of unity, of freedom and of defending our freedoms.”
Another large crowd gathered in Fort Worth for the Tarrant County Veteran's Day parade.
"Veterans Day should celebrate the service of Americans who donned a uniform," said Tarrant County Veterans Council President Ken Cox. "It's a day to say 'Thank you for your service!' And a time when veterans can say, 'Thank you for your support.'"
Watching the Veterans Day parade was confirmation of the values they fought for, said veterans in Fort Worth.
"In Afghanistan I saw people under the boot of other people's heels no matter where you are in this country you can rise above anything no matter how everything goes against you,” said Christopher Dudick, Army veteran.
Chris and Ron are father and son, both army veterans. Their military service goes back at least four generations.
“I joined in peace time during the Cold War my son knew when he joined he was going to war he knew who his enemy was and he joined anyway,” Ron Dudick.