NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The World War II Memorial nestled inside Tennessee’s Bicentennial Mall drew people from around the world on Memorial Day, including one special visitor who had never been there before.
Along with people who said they were from France, Australia and Canada, 97-year-old World War II veteran Quentin Brelsford was there visiting from Florida with his son and daughter-in-law.
“I did not know about this place,” Brelsford told News 2. “It’s beautiful. It’s really nice.”
The memorial is a somber place bordered by 10 monoliths full of pictures and chiseled words about World War II, along with a granite globe floating on a bed of water showing major battles from the 1939 to 1945 conflict.
The eyes of the 97-year-old Michigan native and air mechanic quickly turned to the memorial’s pictures of planes.
He kept them flying on the North African and Italian fronts of World War II.
“I was in in aviation maintenance and all I did was work on engines,” he said while gazing at the pictures from so long ago.
With his World War II veteran hat proudly worn, the different generations at the memorial soon realized they were in the midst of a man who fought in the war remembered before them in words and pictures.
“Thank you for your service to our country,” was heard over and over again as many of the visitors came over to Brelsford as he pushed himself around in a wheelchair.
The one-time army corporal greatly appreciated the words from all those who came up to him, but he wanted his own remembrance from the Tennessee World War II Memorial.
“I was thinking I could have brought a camera and photographed those plaques and then print them up,” he said.
Instead, there were people taking pictures of him. A World War II vet seeing the words and pictures that made him a part of what’s been called the “Greatest Generation.”