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WWII Vets Receive Salutes

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WWII Vets Receive Salutes


WWII Vets Receive Salutes

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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To coincide with that series, next week, MORNING EDITION profiles two World War II veterans: one who was recently honored for service, and another honored for actions long after his service was over.

NPR special correspondent Susan Stamberg has a preview.

SUSAN STAMBERG: More than a half-century after the end of World War II, its dwindling ranks of veterans are saluted with memorials, ceremonies. Last June 32 U.S. veterans received France's highest award - the Legion of Honor. Among them: one female lieutenant.

Ms. KATE NOLAN (World War II Veteran): Merci beaucoup. And I accept this for all the members of my hospital, the 53rd Field Hospital, most of whom have passed on. Thank you.

(Soundbite of applause)

STAMBERG: As a combat nurse, Kate Nolan tended the wounded just after D-Day and then through the Battle of the Bulge and beyond. Sixty years after the war, Kate's service to her nation continues. Her son, a psychologist, helped troops deal with combat stress in Afghanistan.

Next week on MORNING EDITION, Major Steve Nolan says the years haven't dampened his mother's spirit or impulse to serve.

Major STEVE NOLAN (Psychologist; U.S. Army): When I was leaving the country to go to a war zone, she said - and this is an 86-year-old woman - she said, I wish I was going with you.

STAMBERG: Like Kate Nolan, many veterans are honored with medals and speeches, but few have their names permanently engraved on the walls of a Washington, D.C. museum.

Mr. JACK TRAMIEL (World War II Survivor): In honor of Vernon W. Tott, my liberator and hero.

STAMBERG: In Germany in 1945, Infantryman Vernon Tott helped to liberate a slave labor camp. He took some snapshots of the hell he saw at Ahlem, Germany. Fifty years later, Vernon Tott rediscovered his photos of the prisoners and spent the last years of his life trying to track them down.

One of the survivors, Jack Tramiel, had Vernon's name inscribed on a wall at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Mr. TRAMIEL: I have to make sure that this man is going to be remembered for what he has done, and his family should know that he is to us a hero. And he's my angel.

STAMBERG: Vernon Tott became known as the Angel of Ahlem. His story and the story of Nurse Katherine Nolan will be heard next week on MORNING EDITION.

I'm Susan Stamberg, NPR News.

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