For many spectators the dedication of the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. was a time of celebration. But Lincolnton native Joseph Scott reacted to the May 29 dedication in a different way.
â€œItâ€™s heartbreaking,â€ said Scott. â€œIt brought back memories. There were a lot of tears shed up there.â€
Scott, a veteran, attended the ceremony with his wife, son and grandson.
He met up with other veterans he had known during his days of combat.
He also met strangers who appreciated what he had been through.
â€œThey come shake your hand, and say â€˜Iâ€™m proud of what youâ€™ve done for us,â€™â€ said Scott.
Throughout the trip a black baseball hat perched on top of his head announcing that he had received a purple heart for his service.
The hat was a gift from his grandson. The purple heart was given to him after he was hit with a mine while riding on the back of a jeep.
The injury took place on the same day President Franklin Roosevelt died, and Scott remembers hearing the news while lying in his hospital bed.
That said, Scott isnâ€™t one for reminiscing. There are many things about the war he doesnâ€™t care to remember.
As the father of five, grandfather of 6 and great grandfather of 2, Scott has had many questions asked about his time in the service.
â€œI try to tell them the best I can, but a lot of times, I donâ€™t even like talking about it,â€ said Scott.
Scott joined the army in 1943 at the age of 20, and he stayed until the end of the war.
After boot camp, he traveled across the English Channel.
â€œThatâ€™s the roughest piece of water Iâ€™ve ever seen in my life,â€ said Scott.
He then fought in Belgium and Czechoslovakia as a machine gun operator, firing 600 rounds a minute.
Although Scott doesnâ€™t like to talk about his time he combat, he does remember how cold it was and the weight of the steel helmet he had to wear.
â€œMy shoes got so stiff, I couldnâ€™t walk in them,â€ he said.
He spent two years away from the United States and his wife. The two, who met on a bridge in Lincolnton, had only been married two months when Scott enlisted in the Army.
In November they will celebrate their 62 wedding anniversary.
She was among the 800,000 that paid tribute to WWII veterans on May 29. â€œThatâ€™s a lot of people,â€ said Scott. â€œIt brought tears to my eyes.â€by Sarah Grano