South Mississippi Veterans Visit WWII Museum
About 200 veterans from South Mississippi were taken back in time as they paid a visit to the World War II Museum in New Orleans. It’s an event put on every year by Riemann Family Funeral Homes.
News 25’s Kristen Durand went along for the ride and shares the stories of some World War II veterans who took a stroll down memory lane.
December 7th, 1941 a day that changed the lives of many men and women, especially those who defended our country in the fight, like retired Navy pilot Kenneth Taylor. He and 200 other veterans from South Mississippi visited the World War II Museum in New Orleans, strolling through the museum brought him back to those days. “I flew 61 missions in the war. I was wounded three times. It was terrible. You didn’t have the feeling you were in a country that was living, you know what I mean?”
While some were in combat, others were busy bringing supplies to the front lines. WWII Veteran Anthony Gilbert said, “We handled all types of ammunition and whatever they needed we were right there to get them.”
Some remember listening to the radio broadcasts from home, but not always having confidence in the possibility of a win. WWII Veteran Gill Weber said, “I did worry about it. The battle in Germany when the troops were surrounded for about 40 days, it could have changed two or three times. I think, I really think the Almighty had a lot to do with our winning the World War number two.”
Former Merchant Marine Donald Young remembers flying on his way to invade Japan when, “We were about close to there and they dropped a bomb. We heard about it and we were happy we didn’t get to go. They sent us on in the Philippines and we dodged Japan.”
“Japan surrendered.” Words of relief for the entire nation. “It was great, we were so glad to get home,” said Taylor.
While the trip only lasted a few short hours, the memories embedded in the museum and memorials around the nation will continue to serve as a reminder of the cost of freedom for generations to come.