As communities nationwide honor military heroes for Veterans Days, a World War II veteran shares his passion for the holiday that goes well beyond praise.

As communities nationwide honor military heroes for Veterans Days, a World War II veteran shares his passion for the holiday that goes well beyond praise.

Fought from 1939 to 1945, WWII is the deadliest conflict in history, with over 70 million fatalities.

Nick Verzella served with the 78th division in the United States Army during WWII in Germany.

He says Veterans Day isn't just about celebrating those who served, it's about remembering why they served.

“People have to realize the freedoms we have are a result of the efforts of other people,” said the WWII veteran. “And the veterans are the people who make it all possible.”

“I have vowed many years ago that the people in East Rochester would never, never forget the veterans,” added Verzella.

For nearly the last four decades Verzella says he speaks at every Memorial Day and Veteran Day event – including the event Sunday.

Since ending the draft in 1973, the all-volunteer military force stands at roughly 1.3 million...less than one percent of the population.

With such a small percentage of the population in the military, Verzella says these efforts to educate communities are very important so families understand the true meaning of service and sacrifice.

“99-percent of us reap the rewards of those who are serving today,” said Verzella. “I consider Veterans Day one of the best holidays this country has on its calendar. If it wasn’t for Veterans Day I think people would forget entirely what the veterans have done in the history of this country.”