WWII Veterans Tour Their Memorial - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

WWII Veterans Tour Their Memorial

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BILLINGS -

It was an emotional 36 hours, as a group of Montana's World War Two veterans flew to Washington, DC to visit the memorial built in their honor.

From the changing of the guards at Arlington National Cemetery to watching the veterans tour the eery Korean War Memorial, the most memorable part of the trip was the second day when the Montana vets finally got to walk around the World War Two Memorial. "All the others are nice, but this beats it all," Veteran Stan Kniepkamp said.

"Yeah, I think that this is phenomenal. It's so great. I'm humbled, I'm moved, I appreciate so much the people who have planned this and taken care of us in so many ways. I'm sure the veterans feel the same way I do," Veteran Burl Baty said.

"It makes you feel pretty good. There a great group of people. Many of them have been through hell you might say, but here they are," Former Montana Governor; Tim Babcock said.

Veterans weren't the only ones who visited the memorial on Monday. Students from all around were there, and they were eager to meet the soldiers and learn more about their own history. One San Francisco student asked, if it was emotional and what it brought back. Veteran Frank Scotten said, "It restores our faith in young people. They are great young people, and they are surprising."

"I've never seen so many school children come up and shake my hand as I have at this place, and they seem very sincere and interested," Knepkamp said.

While most veterans were surprised about the young students' interest in their service, Jack Mulford of Kalispell was upset President Roosevelt's famous Pearl Harbor speech had something missing. "They left off 'So Help Us God. No, it doesn't surprise me much, but it pisses me off," Mulford said.

Despite his disappointment, he was pleased to share a new memory with his fellow vets, like former Montana Governor, Tim Babcock. "You reflect back on some of the things you've been through, and it kind of jars your memory," Babcock said.

"I'll remember it until I croak, and I don't think I've got too many years back I think," Kniepkamp said.

The fifth Big Sky Honor flight is bound for DC in a few weeks. Honor Flight Board members said funding for the fifth flight is coming up short, but they are hoping donations will come through in the coming weeks.

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