Attendance Dwindling As WWII Veterans Reunite For 63rd Year

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A special group of people met Friday in Sacramento to relive the glory days.

The story from the 41st Infantry is more like a history lesson. The stories they tell are incredible.

Reunited, and it feels so good.

“It’s very enjoyable, we share the common experience of being in the same unit,” said Dan Sokol, second vice president.

The men who made up the 41st Infantry are meeting for the 63rd straight year.

“When we formed the association, we knew that this was one thing that had to be done to protect the United States. This is a war that had to be fought,” said Harold Arkoff, national secretary.

The 41st Infantry was formed more than 100 years ago, with around 40,000 soldiers. The men who protected this country don’t want this country to forget what they did.

“Make sure that we maintain history for further generations, so they will know what people did in World War II. There were wars worth fighting,” said Arkoff.

These veterans, the youngest 86 and the oldest 95, have seen and done a lot.

“People who have read “Band of Brothers,” might get a feel for what we feel. We share something in common,” said Sokol.

But, each year the reunions grow smaller.

“Fewer and fewer to come, cause they’re infirmed. They want to come,” said Arkoff. “They can’t come. We’ve lost 90 percent of our membership.”

However, each reunion is just as important as the first.

“Over the years, we knew that we just formed associations of friendships with our fellows,” said Arkoff.

The big topic discussed Friday is the 41st Infantry’s final roll call this weekend, and if they feel that they want to continue to meet for years to come.

More from Sean Bennett
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