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Local veterans share what 'Memorial Day' means to them

Posted at 5:50 AM, May 31, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS — Memorial Day is a day where we recognize those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Two World War II Veterans are sharing what this day means to them.

Ed Beck has quite the story. He's a retired U.S. Army Veteran, and says he's 96-years-old and still counting! Mr. Beck fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was taken prisoner. He escaped before the war was over. Beck says he remembers when he was interrogated by the Nazis and says it was brutal. Mr. Beck says on Memorial Day he reflects on all the friends he's lost. He says he saw soldiers as young as 18, sacrificing themselves for this country.

"I can remember all of my friends that are gone and sometimes you just break down and cry," Beck explained. "You just remember all the bad stuff and you try to forget it, but it never really goes away."

Marilynn Doeges says this day can be painful for her as well. In World War II, there were 350,000 women who served in the armed forces, and Mrs. Doeges is one of them.

She graduated in 1943, right in the middle of the war, joined the army, and worked as a nurse on the front lines. She and her fellow nurses received patients from the Battle of the Bulge. She witnessed soldiers who had pneumonia, frostbite, and other ailments. It was her job to nurse them back to health.

Marilynn was sent to Europe along with 500 other nurses, to relieve medical staff on the front lines. Mrs. Doeges was eventually stationed in England. Every memorial day nurse Marilynn says she remembers all the soldiers she took care of.

"I wonder what happened to them. I hope they had a good life but I know some of them died and that's sad, but that's the way it was and that's the way with nursing. You take care of people who are really ill," she explained.

Both Beck and Doeges want people to remember the sacrifice that so many others made.