On June 1, 1954, President Eisenhower signed legislation to rename Armistice Day to Veterans Day, changing the commemoration from one that honored Americans who served in World War I to one that included those who served in all wars, including World War II.
Sixteen million Americans served in the armed forces during World War II, and more than 405,000 lost their lives.
In April 2004, a World War II memorial opened in the nation’s capital to honor those who fought and died in the war.
Today, we introduce four Beaufort County veterans who, just out of high school, fought in World War II. On Sept. 25, Robert Mollman, Ralph Dittenhoefer, James Knight and Ralph Fields were flown to Washington for their first visit to the memorial, on a one-day, expense-paid trip provided by the national nonprofit group Honor Flight Network.
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Watch as four members of the “Greatest Generation” reflect on their lives, their military service and their visit to the National World War II Memorial.
Video produced by staff photographer Sarah Welliver, portraiture by staff photographer Jonathan Dyer.