A larger than expected crowd of about 250 people gathered the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center today for a luncheon to honor veterans of the Battle of the Bulge during the national conference here.
Syndicated columnist George Will told the crowd, which included dozens of veterans, that although you never imagined back then that you would be this old. And you cant imagine now that you were once that young, that they are remembered today for saving the world.
I am proud, he said, to be in this room with so many unassuming, indisputable American heroes.
More than 80 veterans of the month long World War II battle the largest and bloodiest the U.S. Army ever fought. The bulge refers to the bulge in the front lines that occurred when German troops launched a massive and unexpected counter attack in the Ardennes forest in Belgium and Luxembourg beginning on Dec. 16, 1944.
The veterans and guests also heard a speech from George Patton Pat Waters, Gen. George S. Pattons grandson. Waters even brought along the boots the famous general wore in the Ardennes when his Third Army rode the relief of the beleaguered troops and help close the bulge. They were a hit with the vets.