Riders put on parade to help WWII veterans celebrate 75 years of freedom

Updated: Apr. 29, 2020 at 11:07 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Wednesday, Forever Young Veterans and Patriot Guard Riders held a parade for two World War II veterans who were Prisoners of War.

This month marks 75 years of freedom for WWII veterans Luke McLaurine and Olin Pickens.

The theme of the parade was liberation.

Luke McLaurine is 96 years old now, but he remembers his last ride like it was yesterday.

"I was captured the 16th or 17th of November, one of those two, and I was liberated on the 29th of April, 1945, about six months,” said McLaurine.

During those six months of captivity McLaurine recalls being in several camps.

“I was at one camp which was Stalag 3 in Saigon, Poland, and when the Russians started coming through, well the Germans moved us out of there to Neuenbürg to Stalag 11. And when the Americans started coming through Neuenbürg, well they moved us out of there to Stalag 7A in Noodsberg which is close to Munich.”

And that was the last camp McLaurine was in before being liberated.

Seventy-five years later, he is happy to celebrate his freedom with others.

“I got to see more people out here than I’ve seen out in the yard for years.”

Olin Pickens also received a parade outside his house in Nesbit, Mississippi.

Pickens was captured in North Africa.. and spent 26 months as a POW.

He was liberated on April 9, 1945.

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