Local WWII vets honored in unique way

SAN DIEGO - Several local World War II veterans were honored in a unique way on Veterans Day.

The veterans watched as pictures on a large screen took them back to June 5, 1944 -- also known as D-Day. The heroic images of fellow soldiers are seen in a video created to honor the veterans who said they weren't expecting any recognition.

Irving "Irv" Gold, who turns 97 in January, fought in the South Pacific during WWII. He said he doesn't consider himself a hero.

"I was told what I had to do. It was my country and I did it," said Gold.

Ken Curzon, 90, shared that sentiment, and said, "I came from a different generation, so it was your duty to get up and go to war."

Curzon served with British forces during WWII, but he has called the U.S. home for 60 years. He was there on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.

"The noise was just unbelievable," said Curzon.

Six veterans of different wars, from WWII to the Gulf War, were handed specially designed challenge coins during a ceremony at Scripps Health. The coins date back to World War I, when airmen are said to have carried them to prove their membership in a certain squadron. Today, there are many different kinds given in appreciation.

Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder created one especially for employees and volunteers like Gold and Curzon.

"I've only given out a handful to Scripps employees who have really gone above and beyond," said Van Gorder.

Van Gorder also added we should "remember that Veterans Day is not just one day a year. It's every day and we can't forget our veterans."

Van Gorder said the challenge coins awarded on Veterans Day bring the total to just 13 he's given out in the last few years.

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