The whole group of WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans at the WWII memorial.
We started at the WWII memorial, then went to the changing of the guards at Arlington National Cemetery, did drive-bys of Iwo Jima and the Air Force memorials, then toured the Vietnam Wall and the Korean memorial.
Korean War Memorial
Meet Ed, left and Bear, right (that's me in the middle)
Ed joined the Army in 1944 at the young age of 18. He was shipped off to the front lines of WWII - Versailles, France. They were called 90 day-ers because that was their life expectancy. He and one other lucky boy were reassigned to a different duty and were moved to the rear. And they both lived. Ed is one of the most friendly, warm, caring, cheerful individuals I've ever met. And a flirt! Whew! He gave an interview of his experiences during the war, which I hope to post as soon as it's up and online. A local high school recorded it and is creating a living memory so people can hear first hand accounts of the war.
Bear joined up at age 18, too. He would have lied about his age and joined earlier, but his mother begged him not to. He joined the Navy and sailed to every port in the Pacific with the exception of Central and South America. His ship got within 40 miles of the island where the first A-Bomb was released. While he was there they detonated some type of bomb. Everyone on deck had to face away and close their eyes when it detonated. Despite 40 miles and his eyes being closed, he could see the bones in his hand and feel heat on his back. Bear is quieter than Ed, but as sweet as can be and just as charming.
Bear and Ed: brave Buckeyes (what you call someone from Ohio)
Spending the day with these two characters was the most wonderful way I could think to spend my Saturday and thank two brave and extraordinary men for their service.