COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Dozens of veterans were honored for the Ford Oval of Honor Sunday at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum.

Last year, the group couldn’t meet together due to the pandemic, but as restrictions have eased a bit, they decided they couldn’t wait on this opportunity to meet with their veterans.

More than 50 veterans from Korea, World War II, and the modern era, sharing some laughs and memories from the past.

“It’s just an amazing opportunity to see these heroes who have given so much and made our country so free,” said Lt. Gen. Mike Ferriter.

Edward A. Burke, 101, was one of the many veterans honored, saying it brought him both joy and sadness to be among so many people, especially as last year, he didn’t have the opportunity to join his fellow vets.

“I’m happy to see all my friends for many years,” Burke said. “I’m the last one of my grade school, high school, college, law school. I’m a survivor of them all and I’ve lost a lot of friends.”

Usually, the even is held closer to Veterans’ Day, but because of the pandemic, they were forces to move it back.

“I just think when we have such a difficult time in so many areas of the world and within our country, it is great to be at an event like this,” said U.S. Congressman Brad Wenstrup. “It is so unified, and so all about the goodness of America and what many good Americans have done on behalf of others.”

Though it may have been a lunch at 6 feet apart, the veterans got to see the museum and be reminded of the history they made possible for the United States.

“It’s life-touching and impacting and it really tells the world how much we have to think and be connected to our veterans,” Ferriter said.

Even though there were some restrictions in place, they were happy to be together in the same room.