Alaska World War II veterans lay wreath at memorial in Washington

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Heroes from the Alaska are on the ground in our nation’s capital. They are taking part in the Last Frontier Honor Flight, a trip that takes Alaska veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the sites and take in the memorials built in their honor.

(Source: Gray DC)

“It’s nice that they remember,” said Clem Tillon, a World War II veteran and former Alaska state lawmaker.

Tillon remembers the War as well as anyone. As part of the Marine Corp in World War II, the Alaskan’s journey took him to the Pacific Theater in Samoa, Guadalcanal, and elsewhere, looking for unexploded ordnances.

“Freedoms are won by somebody that goes out and fights for it. You don’t have anything without it,” said Tillon. “I don’t think I’m anything spectacular. I just went in, did it, and came out alive.”

Tillon made the trip with mostly Korea and Vietnam veterans, 23 total on the flight. He was one of four World War II veterans on the trip.

“I’m glad I got to see it. It’s beautiful,” said Firmin Murakami, another World War II veteran.

In front of his memorial, the Marine remembers his time in boot camp, floating around in the Pacific, drawing pictures of his fellow soldiers. Murakami is an American born to Japanese parents. He says when it came to the war effort the other troops saw him as an equal with the same mission.

“And you get to be buddies, you know?” said Murakami.

The veterans return home to Alaska Saturday afternoon.