Over 500 mid-Missouri veterans and their families gathered at the St. Martins Knights of Columbus Thursday for Operation: Bugle Boy 2013 in celebration of Veterans Day.
The event featured walls of pictures honoring those who served and remembering those who were killed in action. Vets could also contribute old war memorabilia to display for the night.
David Beamer was the featured speaker at the event. Beamer's son, Todd, was on board United Flight 93 when it crashed in a Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001. His last-known words before calling other passengers to revolt against the hijackers were captured on a phone call with a United supervisor.
"The last thing that [the supervisor] heard is 'are you guys ready? Let's roll,'" Beamer said of Todd's last words.
Those words became a rally cry that spread across the world. Beamer encouraged the audience to carry those words forward in their lives.
"Whatever the circumstance, make 'Let's Roll' your call to action to do the right thing," he said.
Marine Corps Sergeant David Castillo and Navy Corpsman Jesse Miller were also honored guests at the event. They both helped save the life of local Marine Tyler Huffman in Afghanistan.
Veterans attending the event felt camaraderie with each other and the common bond of service.
"The only thing I can say is it's awesome, absolutely awesome. It's good to see that people are supporting their veterans now and I really appreciate it," Winiford Lewis, who was in the Navy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, said.
"When a lot of our veterans came home from Vietnam we weren't really received back at home. And these types of events, for Vietnam vets in particular, it's a welcome home for them," Vietnam vet David Griffith said.
"It's fantastic seeing fellow guys who have been through it like I have," Vietnam vet Ralph Simpson said.