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Local Communities Pause To Thank Veterans With Parades And Ceremonies

BLOOMFIELD, NJ (CBSNewYork) -- Local towns celebrated Veterans Day on Tuesday, with parades and ceremonies.

America celebrates the day with pomp and circumstance, and the playing of Taps. In Bloomfield people of all ages gathered to honor every veteran from every war or conflict, living or dead.

As CBS2's Emily Smith reported, it was a reminder for all to say thank you to a soldier.

At 89-years-old Bob Eskdale is the Commander of the American Legion in Bloomfield. He served in the Navy during World War II.

"I was a frog man, underwater demolition, we went ashore before the invasion and blew up all the obstacles that would hinder the landing," he explained.

The average WWII vet is 92-years-old according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Al Formica hit the century mark this fall.

"I'm a hundred years old," he said.

Formica headed overseas in 1943 without hesitation.

"Two brothers and I went into the service to save our country," he said.

Today, Formica belongs to various organizations that support the military, despite the death of his son in the Vietnam War.

"We need the army, we need the Navy, we need them to protect our country," he said.

As for his longevity, Formica had a simple piece of advice.

"Drink a glass of wine every day," he said, "My sister was 103 when she died. I would call her and say, 'did you drink your wine?'"

Every veteran has a story, but even a quick thank you many say reassures them their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Formica and his wife are mostly self-sufficient and even do their own yard work.

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