World War II Vets Gather in St. Louis for Final Reunion

Members of the Army's 84th Infantry Division who served together in World War II have been meeting annually for 66 consecutive years. Every year there are fewer survivors among the veterans, who are mostly in their late 80s. Marie McDonald, who attends each year with 85-year-old veteran Brownlee Bush, says traveling has become difficult for many, and the final reunion comes as a relief.
The 84th Division's 16,000 men began basic training in January 1943. They entered combat on Nov. 18, 1944, with an attack on Geilenkirchen, Germany, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and crossed the Rhine River on April 1, 1945. Within two weeks, the unit had reached the Elbe River, where it halted its advance and patrolled the banks until the war's end. The men spent 170 days in combat and earned seven distinguished unit citations.

"These guys fought a war," McDonald said. "We won a war in four years, when now the area they're fighting in is no bigger than Texas, and they've been there 10 years, and it's sad. We had a reason to fight. We wanted to be free."

The group held its first stateside reunion in Cincinnati in July 1946, just months after returning home. About 700 showed up.

Last year, only about 100 veterans attended, quite a few of them in wheelchairs. That's when they decided that this year's reunion will be the last one. -via Fark

(Image credit: David Carson)

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Yes, I realise that's what he meant, but 'we won a war in four years' does then seem to suggest that the 'we' who won the war was the US, when in fact 'we' (the Allies) fought and won the war in six. Needless to say, claims that Brazil and Mexico 'won a war in three years' (joining as they did in 1942) don't necessarily mean they did the job faster.
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Didn't World War II span six years, not four? 1939-1945. The 10 years in Afghanistan he mentions probably reflect the significantly smaller number of troops sent to that region. Thankfully the losses incurred in the latter conflict don't even scrape the surface of the deaths in WW2, though of course any of those deaths in either war is a tragedy.
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Sad to hear. Truly the greatest generation. At the risk of sounding corny, God bless everyone of those guys. I lost my grandfather (a WWII vet last year). They don't make 'em like they used to.
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