Plzen, West Bohemia, May 5 (CTK) – Thousands of people hailed the Convoy of Liberty, a ride of over 220 pieces of historical military equipment with U.S. and Belgian war veterans as honoured guests, in the centre of Plzen on Saturday when it marked 73 years from the liberation of the city by the U.S. army.

To many residents of Plzen, the celebrations are an emotional issue, mainly to the surviving witnesses of the events at the end of World War Two.

“When the Americans arrived, I was 2.5-years old…My father invited them to our home, they visited us more times. My mother washed their shirts. They gave us chocolate and cans of food. They stayed here until November,” eyewitness Zdenek Jerabek told CTK.

“Up to now, I have been a friend of [U.S.] General Patton’s grandson and I continue exchanging letters with soldiers from the [U.S.] 2nd infantry division that was the second to reach Plzen, after the 16th division,” Jerabek said.

George Patton Waters is taking part in the ongoing Freedom Festival in Plzen, along with another three American and four Belgian war veterans.

The popular Convoy of Liberty ride on Saturday was accompanied by flights of modern military aircraft and a Spitfire, the legendary wartime plane of the British Royal Air Force.