The University of Central Arkansas honored local servicemen and highlighted 2017 marking 100 years of women in the military during its annual Veterans Day celebration Thursday.

Hundreds attended the free event, which included food, booths where area businesses were handing out free swag such a T-shirts, a concert by the 106th Army Band and a dedicatory address by two women — a retired Army colonel and a current brigadier general — speaking about serving their country.

Brigadier General Patricia Anslow recalled how a professor at West Point responded when a male classmate asked what kind of country allows its women to go fight for their country.

"That’s a simple answer: a free one," she remembered.

She said she was proud of his answer.

"The United States, the land of the free, the home of the brave, precludes no one from defending our way of life."

Retired General Josephine Linker Hart, who in 2012 was elected to serve as a justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court, said "the courage, the dedication and sacrifice that many women in this country have undertook to forge the path has changed the face of our military."

Anslow closed by saying she looks forward to the day when the saying "fight like a girl" isn’t meant as a derogatory slight but as compliment to everyone.