Celebrating Vietnam veteran, Inkster puts on 50th Memorial Day parade

There were flags.

There were floats.

Even a green-kilt wearing, bagpipe playing musician.

It was the 50th Inkster Memorial Day parade. And like every 50th-anything, it was loud, proud and done better than ever before.

Smiles stretched across the faces of kids all too happy to announce into the camera: "Happy Memorial Day." At the same time, a stoic-faced drum-line and ensuing brass musicians marched in accordance, decked out in snazzy blue track suits.

But beneath the celebratory chants and tunes blaring through horns was the quiet appreciation from one man, just happy to be in attendance.

"When I came home from Vietnam in 1974, I was wearing my dress blue uniform in San Bernardino, California," said Chief Warrant Officer Ernest Thomas. "And they threw human feces at us."

Any disrespect Thomas felt hanging on his shoulders was suddenly lifted on May 27.

"And 50 years later, I've been acknowledged and I'm grateful and I'm appreciative because freedom ain't free."