Plymouth Meeting, Pa. (WTXF) - Although the theme of Memorial Day is respect and honor it is also a difficult time for many families as they remember lost loved ones. FOX 29's Bill Anderson spoke to a man who after serving in World War II is himself a living part of history and he's sharing it so that we never forget the sacrifices that so many made.
"I can't remember where I put my toothbrush this morning, but the things back then were really important to me, they stick in my memory."
Memorial Day is supposed to be about respect and remembrance, but unfortunately like with so many things the memories begin to fade as time passes on. So today FOX 29's Bill Anderson got the rare opportunity to get a WWII history lesson from someone who actually lived it.
"It was December the 7 th , it was Sunday Morning, I was in my armored car, I was a scout car commander. I hear over our radio that Pearl Harbor was bombed."
Dan Pociello is 97 and a veteran of World War II and today while many attended parades or came back from their long weekends he spent Memorial Day in Plymouth Meeting sharing stories with anyone interested in hearing them.
"We got a call from the Colonel, Colonel Lineburger. He says its true this country's been attacked and we're going to war," he explained.
He's not shy on any day but Memorial Day is special. Dan and several other veterans fought to have a monument placed outside the National Armory in Plymouth Meeting. Now that Dan is the only one of the group left living, he had to be there.
"We come here once a year on Memorial Day and say the prayers to honor the men," he explained.
It was a fairly small but committed group that came today. Local radio personality Valerie Knight was there for very personal reasons.
"There's Danny and my dad, Armand, together in the war. They grew up together and they served together," she said.
And like many of the people who wanted pictures to shake Dan's hand and basically just show respect, Valerie wanted to make sure Memorial Day never loses its significance.
"When he was passing, when he was dying I told him, 'Dad I'll come here as long as I can and honor you on Memorial Day.' This monument honors men and women who died for our freedom and continue to," Knight said.
Talking to living history was also informative to get a feel for perhaps what society may not know from someone who has nearly 80 years of experience.
"I think it's something the generations of people should learn, life isn't easy. It wasn't easy for us to go away and come home six seven years later," Pociello said.
It wasn't easy but telling the stories is worth it and so Dan will continue to as long as he can, For Goodness Sake.