March 27, 2013 - World War Two Veterans

March 27, 2013 - World War II Veterans

One major mission of the National World War II Museum is to educate.  That's why throughout the museum, you'll see World War II vets speaking with groups of adults and children about their experiences.

"They should know where their freedom came from and how much it cost," said Thomas Blakey, a veteran who fought in Europe's Battle of the Bulge.  "The parents and the schools are not doing it."

Everywhere you go in the museum, you see veterans talking with visitors, giving them an insight of what they experienced in battle.  Otto Levy remembers when his ship got hit by a Japanese kamikaze plane.

"I was copying Morse code and the kamikaze hit," said Levy.  "It pushed me out of my seat into a man about double the distance between you and I.  I hit him against the wall and he cut his head on a fire extinguisher."

Marine Warrant Officer Bert Stolier was at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

"I was right there by all the battleships, firing like mad," remembered Stolier.  "I was in charge of three five-inch guns which were anti-aircraft guns.  I knocked the first plane down."

It's stories like these that are being preserved as America loses some one-thousand World War II veterans daily.

"It's imperative that we do that," said Gaston Andre.  "We have a team of researchers that try to get the stories of the veterans.  When they leave us, the stories are gone with them.  We won't have the stories."

"You've got to take care of this nation and you have to be this great generation they talk about and keep this country going and keep that flag flying," said Stolier.

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