BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — May 8 marks 75 years since World War II ended in Europe. It's one of the most important days of the year for our oldest veterans, but one Broken Arrow vet who wanted to pay tribute couldn't get anyone together to do so.
Frank Riesinger has organized V-J Day celebrations every August to recognize the end of the war in the pacific, so party planning wasn't an issue. The problem was, with all the restrictions caused by coronavirus, he couldn't get any of his buddies together to commemorate V-E Day.
The 94-year-old WWII veteran, never discouraged, suited up in his original uniform, and paid tribute at Broken Arrow's Veteran's Park by himself.
"Those of us who remember - most of us are gone. So few of us still living to remember World War II,“ Riesinger said. "We should have a celebration here!“
So, with the same pride in his country he’s always had, Riesinger saluted the flag and the memorials around the park, and took a stroll to remember those who paid the ultimate price.
“I want to remember those who didn’t come back. Those who died to save our nation, to save our world,” Riesinger said.
As he looks back on all those years, he has one request for everyone at home.
"Today, set aside just a moment, and pay tribute to those who have died for us for our freedom, for our continued freedom. That’s what I want.”
Riesinger says if we are all clear to gather by August, he would like anyone who can attend to join him at Broken Arrow's celebration of the 75th anniversary of V-J Day. Last year included a flyover, a special rendition of the national anthem, and local WWII veterans honored as special guests.
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