Memorial Day festivities got under way Monday morning with the annual parade down Main Street. The parade concluded with a ceremony at the veteran’s memorial in Sunset Hills Cemetery.
Among the crowd sat World War II veteran and Belgrade resident, Sergeant Ernest Hoffman. "After I got my basic training, I was picked to go on a cavalry to open a new camp, Camp McCain Mississippi,” explained Hoffman.
That was in 1942; from there Hoffman would go overseas to Europe where he would become a veteran of The Battle of The Bulge.
A fellow veteran approached Hoffman following the ceremony and said, "Hello Sergeant, I wanted to thank you for your service in World War II it is nice to meet you.” Hoffman then replied, “Thank you, I went in done my job and came home."
Upon leaving the military, Hoffman went on to become a mechanic which he would do for more than 30 years. To this day he still spends sometime in the shop tinkering will small equipment.
Throughout the years, Hoffman had never participated in a parade.
He said, "Oh yeah, there is a parade every year but I was always busier doing something so it never took off."
However, on Monday, that all changed. Hoffman rode along with fellow veterans inside an old military vehicle.
With excitement he said, "Well I think it is wonderful, I really do and I hope to make it next year too.”