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Vets Ask Civilians to Remember Ultimate Sacrifice
Updated: Tuesday, May 28 2013, 05:08 PM CDT
IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- A single trumpet-player cut "Taps" into the grey, misty morning as a line up eight veterans fired off a shotgun salute to their fallen brothers-in-arms at the Army National Guard Armory on Monday.
More than 100 people showed up to see that salute while honoring and remembering veterans during Iowa City's Memorial Day celebration.
The veterans there were like pages from a living history book. Gordon Zumwalt, 91, fought at the Battle of the Bulge during World War II.
"I remember every bit of it, but I wouldn't do it again for a million dollars. And I wouldn't take a million dollars either for what I learned," Zumwalt said.
Duane Papke served during the unrest and tension of the Vietnam-era.
"And actually, when I came through an airport, I got spit at, swore at, for being in uniform," Papke said.
For those men, seeing and hearing the support from the folks filling the armory lets them know they're not forgotten.
"They know what we went through, and we know what they went through. You get a connection there, of a family," Zumwalt said.
"I'm just so pleased that Americans are finally thanking the men and women who are sacrificing so much," Papke said.
For former reservist Bob Dane, continuing the tradition of the ceremony is crucial to remembering who we are as Americans. Dane's father helped start the Military Affairs Committee in Iowa City, which hosts the ceremony.
"You forget how we got here and what it takes to stay here," Dane said.
While it is important to thank the veterans still here for all they sacrificed, Papke and Zumwalt said Memorial Day is all about remembering those who died for their country.
"This is all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and all those who continue to serve, even today," Papke said.
The ceremony was originally set to be held outside at a cemetery, but was moved to the armory because of the weather.