• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 32s

Memorials bring emotional memories to Alaska Honor Flight veterans

By Joe Vigil 8:07 AM May 9, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. –

More than 70 years after World War II, Wasilla veteran Eldon Gallear continues to wonder why people are so thankful.

“People have been great,” he said, visiting war memorials in Washington, D.C. with the other Alaska veterans of the 2014 Honor Flight. “Man, I never expected anything like that from the people.”

Gallear and other Alaskans who left their jobs and families to fight for freedom cherished the day they’ve been waiting decades for: The new World War II Memorial in the nation’s capital is only ten years old.

But as the Honor Flight tour continued over to Arlington National Cemetery, things changed for Gallear. All those headstones — nearly 420,000 of them — struck a deep chord for the veteran.

“When I see all those gravestones boy, I don’t know,” he said.

While Gallear’s friends watched the somber ceremony of the guard protecting the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, he stayed behind.

“I just didn’t feel like going to the memorial up there knowing what that forgotten soldier was.”

So there he sat, on the bus, thinking about the enemy sinking his ship and sending him into the water in 1944.

“And when you lose a ship and you lose your buddies, it isn’t exactly easy,” Gallear said.

On the bus, he also thought about a child.

“One little girl in grade school asked me if I’d ever been scared. And I says, ‘Yes, twice,’” Gallear said. “Once in the South China Sea in a typhoon. And the other time on a life raft when sharks were bumping it trying to roll me off so they could kill me bite by bite.”

And Gallear wonders why people make such a fuss about veterans of the greatest generation.

To contribute to the Last Frontier Honor Flight program, visit their website.

Latest Stories

  • DayBreak

    Outdoor fashion finds to weather long summer days in Alaska

    by Sierra Starks on Jun 24, 10:51

    Summer in Alaska means it’s time to get outdoors — and look good doing it. With 19 hours of daylight, packing in as many activities as possible is high on Alaskans’ list this season, says Kari Skinner with Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall. Fashion finds for this time of year include outfits that can be worn all […]

  • Lifestyle

    Anchorage man says his rescue dog saved him from a charging moose

    by Daniella Rivera on Jun 24, 10:21

    Like any long-time Alaskan, Terrence Kasper has had more than a few run-ins with moose in his neighborhood throughout the years. But, if it wasn’t for his dog’s loyalty and bravery, he believes he may not have made it out of the last encounter alive. Kasper is a marathon runner and Ella, part black lab, […]

  • Sports

    Teams take off from Victoria for non-powered race to Alaska

    by Associated Press on Jun 24, 10:06

    After a short hop from Port Townsend to Victoria, British Columbia, 55 teams are on their way to Ketchikan, Alaska as part of the second Race to Alaska. The Peninsula Daily News reports that 58 teams left Port Townsend on Thursday morning in the qualifying leg of the race. Teams that made it to Victoria […]

  • Lifestyle

    The Hungry Chum: How one man creates a world inside a Greek cafe

    by The Hungry Chum on Jun 24, 9:07

    Sometimes a place isn’t so much about geography or what’s inside. Its significance lies in the people who are there. On one of the first warm days this spring, Blue Eyes and I rode our bikes in search of adventure and something yummy. We ended up not too far from our Midtown abode. Painted a […]

  • Crime

    North Pole man pleads guilty to first-degree murder

    by Associated Press on Jun 24, 8:01

    A 42-year-old North Pole resident suspected of shooting an Anchorage man to death last year at a North Pole home has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Matthew Burton Davis entered the plea Thursday in Fairbanks Superior Court in the death of 34-year-old John Adam Chilcote. Chilcote was staying with a […]

  • News

    After push from mayor, ACDA will reconsider weekend parking fees

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jun 24, 7:40

    Updated at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, June 24 Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz is urging the Anchorage Community Development Authority (ACDA) to rethink their decision to add weekend parking fees in downtown Anchorage. In a letter to ACDA operations committee chair Dick Stallon, Berkowitz said having hourly parking fees on Saturdays could cause “unintended, negative economic […]

  • News

    Stocks trampled by global uncertainty after Brexit vote

    by Kate Gibson / Money Watch on Jun 24, 7:02

    Last updated at 10:50 a.m. EDT on Friday, June 24 U.S. stocks caved as Wall Street joined global markets in a collective rush from risk assets in the wake of Britain’s vote to depart the European Union. “Europe is an important economic center. Europe matters quite a bit to the global economic picture,” Jim Russell, a […]

  • News

    Alaska SPCA offers free health care for pets in some Anchorage neighborhoods

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jun 23, 20:37

    ANCHORAGE –It isn’t often that you get something for free, but that’s the case with a program called Pets for Life that’s run by the Alaska SPCA. Pets for Life offers free health care for pets including spaying, neutering and vaccinations in some under served neighborhoods. If pet owners don’t have transportation to the clinic, […]