LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg’s Monument Terrace Troop Rally marked its 20th anniversary Friday. The group shows support for veterans and active military members.
“I can’t believe it’s been 20 years,” said veteran Steve Bozeman.
“Seems like about two weeks,” joked veteran Loyd Woodford.
In fact, it’s actually 1,043 consecutive weeks.
The rally started in November 2001 following the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks.
Bozeman and Woodford say they helped organize the first gathering. They noticed a group of people protesting the U.S. going to war, so they decided to counter-protest.
“We rallied and had about 75 to 80 folks down here, and we had to stand on the sides and around the back; and [the other group was] down at the curb. So, that was how it was for probably the first couple months, then they went away, and we stayed here. Next thing you know, we’re still here,” said Bozeman.
“The spirit was always here,” said Woodford.
The two men say they have attended a majority of the rallies since 2001.
They’re part of a small group who can say that, as many of the original members have passed.
“It’s hard to put [it] into words, but it’s definitely an emotion,” said Woodford.
To remember them, an American flag sits in the front of every Monument Terrace Troop Rally.
On the side of the flag case is a list of more than 100 names of those gone but not forgotten.
“That way they’re still down here with us,” said Bozeman.
And as long as the veterans keep showing up, so will that flag.