Eastern Iowa World War II veterans honored in Washington

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - It's the trip of a lifetime, if a little delayed. After fog canceled an honor flight last week, about 100 veterans got a second chance to go to Washington, D.C. to see the monuments built for them.

Bob Clark says he could feel that he was on hallowed ground.

“I’ve never been here before and I live in awe of what I’ve seen,” said Bob Clark, a World War II veteran from Cedar Rapids, Rhode Island.

Clark was longside 100 others from the Korean and Vietnam Wars on the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight. Some rolled.

“I did come back. But the ones who didn’t come back should never be forgotten,” said Clark.

Bob and company spent the day touring the monuments honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. They started at the one honoring him and his brothers in arms. Bob was one of two World War II veterans making the trip. Coralville’s Tony Manzo came to the U.S. from Italy at the age of 14. Four years later he was drafted.

“Thank God. American dreams. I’ve been saying that this morning quite a few times,” said Manzo.

Manzo says this trip has been a dream. He’s honored to be involved, but says it makes him think about those days he spent on Okinawa during the war.

“If I (said) I never cry I’d be lying,” said Manzo.

It was an emotional day for many of the Eastern Iowa veterans. Manzo says he’s glad his daughter convinced him to take the trip.

“I’m here. I enjoy my family. Especially this day like this,” said Manzo.

The group returns to Iowa Tuesday night following a long day of touring, and a day when our nation’s capital got the chance to pay them the respects they deserve.

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