Family remembers life, legacy of WWII veteran - WNEM TV 5

Family remembers life, legacy of WWII veteran

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The family of a Mid-Michigan veteran received a hand in honoring his memory on Wednesday.

They were joined by fellow vets and an U.S. congressman to remember his life and legacy.

The ceremony for Clifford Conrad held a special significance for everyone involved.

"He probably wouldn't say anything. He'd probably cry," said Daryl Conrad, son of the WWII veteran.

The first class Navy fireman died in 2005. On Wednesday his service to his country was honored by United States Senator Gary Peters.

"I thank these men and women that showed up today, that are showing him the respect and stuff that he deserved," Daryl Conrad said.

Other members of Conrad's family were glad to see a U.S. senator in person.

"I wasn't expecting that. It was emotional and great to see something of my grandfather's come back to us," Frank Conrad said.

In all, the Navy veteran received six medals to recognize his time in combat in the Pacific during the war.

The ceremony brought a smile to fellow veterans like Joseph Roberts.

"If my family did something like this for me after I passed I'd probably cry in my crypt. I think it's a beautiful thing to do," Roberts said.

For Peters, the visit was personal. His father, also a WWII veteran, died a few years ago.

"There isn't any bigger hole in your life than when you lose a parent. And to be able to step back and to honor that life and celebrate that life is something special to all of us," Peters said.

It was a special moment symbolized by a warm embrace on stage. Peters and Daryl Conrad shared a common bond of pride and loss.

"Obviously it was very emotional and as he hugged, the hug got tighter and tighter," Peters said.

As for Daryl Conrad, he said he can't put the day into words, but he wanted everyone to know his father was proud to fight for his country.

"I believe that he would've done it again and never hesitated," he said.

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