PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A color guard stands at attention on the Duquesne Heights overlook, as World War II veterans slowly make their way onto the platform.
It’s the 63d reunion for the men of the 95th infantry, who liberated a French city from Nazi forces in November, 1944. They were hailed as the “Iron Men of Metz.”
Ceo Bauer of Michigan still has shrapnel wounds from a battle north of Metz. He says he never misses a reunion.
“For a short while we’re younger, we’re motivated, we’re animated, and we just feel great,” he said.
Every five years, the town of Metz welcomes the Iron Men with open arms. Whether here or there, former Mayor Francoise Leclercq never misses a chance to say, “Thank you.”
“We come to the States to praise them, to thank them again and to say we share the same values and we are together,” she says.
A ride on the Duquesne Incline is a first for many in the group, but not for Walter Blenko of Allison Park. He and his comrades have a bond few others could match.
“This is a major factor I think for all of us,” he says. “It couldn’t help but be. I keep going back over and over again some of these things in my mind. It’s not easy to forget.”