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Memorial Day: Through the eyes’ of a 98-year-old Morton veteran

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 9:56 PM CDT
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MORTON (Heart of Illinois ABC) - The nation is heading into Memorial Day weekend to honor those who did not make it home from war and hearing stories from those who did. A Morton veteran recounts his time on the front lines.

98-year-old Bruce Ramler has been flying through life, quite literally.

“It’s been quite a ride,” said Ramler.

He’s an air force veteran who served in World War II and the Korean War.

“I tried to enlist sooner, but my mother wouldn’t sign the papers,” said Ramler.

18-year-old Ramler enlisted after Pearl Harbor and trained for nine months as a fighter pilot.

“I felt bad after World War II because I didn’t get in on the fight,” said Ramler.

Although, he did not have to feel bad for long. Soon, he would get called from the reserves to the Korean War, completing 100 missions.

“I didn’t think there was very much chance of surviving 100, but,” said Ramler.

Ramler says he was fortunate to return home and eventually settle down in Morton.

But, he says it was a hard realization when coming back from each mission.

“They’d strip a bed and you knew somebody wasn’t coming, but you got used to it,” said Ramler.

Now, Ramler spends Memoria Day hoping people realize the scarifies that were made by the one’s who did not get to go home.

“I don’t think we should forget about the ones that didn’t make it,” said Ramler.

His son-in-law, Greg Schwarzentraub, says Ramler lives a simple and humble life.

“You would never say this man fought in two wars. Just the nicest, quietest, most polite fellow you ever met,” said Schwarzentraub.

When reflecting on the life he’s lived, Ramler says -

“I’m just fortunate that’s all.”

All while hoping to make sure no one forgets the purpose of Memorial Day.

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