PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – With Veterans Day events being held all across the area today, some are quite small, while others fill entire banquet halls.
At Duquesne University, hundreds celebrated the veterans over breakfast.
For 15 years, they have gathered for the veterans’ breakfast to break bread and share old stories. But, few have stories as old as one 101-year-old man.
“We duplicated those bunkers and found out that if we had a delayed fuse of five hundredths of a second it would go through. So, we fired and knocked out most of the [Japanese]. We didn’t get all the bunkers, so we still lost a lot of troops,” World War II veteran Bernie Queneau said.
Bernie was a teacher who enlisted full-time six months before Pearl Harbor.
“I was a professor at Columbia and at Munich, I knew all hell was [going to] break loose so I volunteered in the Navy in the 30s and in ’41 they pulled me in,” he said.
Carmen Leffler now lives in Export. For three years, she was a civilian prisoner of war at the hands of the Japanese. The man she ultimately married was an American MP who took her to find her home in the Philippines when the war ended.
“It was so hard to find my home because everything was flat from the bombings. We went and found the street, but the house was totally flat and I cried so hard because that was my grandmother’s home,” Leffler said.
This breakfast on the campus of Duquesne University is one of the largest such gatherings of vets in the area.
Bernie just wishes some of the men he served with could be here with him.
“They would be amazed. They would appreciate it I am sure,” he said.