GAINESVILLE, TX - Surviving World War II veterans gathered in Gainesville today, to honor more than 800 of their brothers in arms who died or went missing during the war. Daniella Rivera was there as the group of veterans returned to North Texas, where their basic training first began.
Every year, survivors of the World War II 103rd Infantry Division reunite.
This Memorial Day, more than 20 veterans--many of them in their 90s--traveled to North Texas, where they completed their basic training at Camp Howze in the early 1940's.
"It was just a great reunion with some of my comrades, and paying our respects to our comrades who did not return," said veteran Frank Waldeck.
The 103rd Division's memorial monument in Gainesville bears the names of more than 800 fallen and missing soldiers.
"Some of the members are seeing their loved ones name, who was killed in action. There are a number of people who are seeing this for the first time," said veteran Cranston Rogers.
Diane Zaboth Helland was one of those seeing a loved ones name for the first time. Her father, Denis Zaboth, was killed in action on December 15th, 1944.
"His name is on the wall there. I went and touched it," she said.
During the Memorial Day ceremony in Gainesville, veterans and family members laid wreaths and then paid tribute to the fallen with a three volley salute, and taps.
"World War II was so significant in giving us the freedoms that we have, that we need the generations to appreciate it, learn about it, and honor them," said Helland.
Her sister, Patricia Lofthouse, says this Memorial Day, she also honors her mother.
"I like to say that the women of World War II, were the greatest generation as well," said Lofthouse.