10 Badass Heroes of World War II
This World War II Hero Got His Dying Wish and What It Is Will Make You Weep
Late Army veteran Kenneth Spilman served in World War II as part of the Army motorcycle police in Europe and—as one of the soldiers who made it out alive—he felt it was his duty to honor those who had fallen during the war. So it's no surprise that Spilman's favorite place was Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, D.C.
"He just loved it," Marie-Louise Spilman, the veteran's wife of 60 years told Good Morning America. "He loved going there as often as he could."
His frequent visits began when he moved to the Washington area 15 years ago. Even in his late 80s, Spilman regularly visited the cemetery, laying wreaths on the tombs of soldiers who had lost their lives in combat. And even though he served in World War II, he was fond of honoring those who had more recently died in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"He would walk among the rows and he would look and he would reflect on those who most recently had lost their lives," Spilman's daughter, Stacy Spilman Pontius, told Good Morning America. "And he would reflect on the parents who had lost a child."
This part of the gravesite was so emotional for Spilman that his wife wouldn't even walk with him.
"That was the one place that he would always either start with or finish and just walk, touch the graves, read some of the names," his wife said.
The veteran's dedication to honoring fallen soldiers actually gave him the incredible opportunity to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in 2007. But when the 93-year-old Spilman became ill earlier this year, his wife knew exactly how she would want to honor him after his death.
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