BOX ELDER, S.D. — 76-years after Germany and Japan surrendered, veterans of World War II continue to be recognized for their heroic feats. Case in point, one local centenarian.
The South Dakota Air and Space Museum honored a local wingman, leader, warrior…101 year old World War II veteran, Morry Crow. March 31st was his birthday, and there was no better way to celebrate, than dedicating the new WWII exhibit to him.
A crowd of military members, state, and city leaders were present to wish Morry a happy birthday and dedicate the new addition to the museum. The exhibit included Morry’s old uniforms, and other World War II memorabilia, and was a way to immortalize his service.
John Mollison, a member of the South Dakota Air and Space Foundation, and the artist for Morry Crow’s B-17 spoke about the importance of recognizing and remembering the sacrifice of so many. As well as the importance of honoring those who remain.
“We stand on the shoulders of giants,” said Mollison. “The greatest generation isn’t going to be with us forever, so when we have theses stories, we have to bring them out. But one of the challenges is that the greatest generation is also the quietest generation. So, these stories and these great acts of heroism they’re sometimes hard to find, because the don’t necessarily want to be found. We live in an age right now where everybody wants to be famous. These people, that generation, not so much.”
Mollison says World War II vets often just want to live a life of humility and let their service speak for itself. As for his thoughts on the dedication, Morry was grateful, but wished less time was spent honoring him.
“It’s absolutely out of this world,” said Crow. “I tell you what, I didn’t ask for something like this at all. I wanted to leave something here for them to use because they are building it up. And I never had anything to do with it except watch it grow.”
Morry served in the Air Force from 1942 until 1944 as a B-17 gunner, flying over 30 missions. He finished his enlistment at Ellsworth Air Force Base, and considers his time in the military the best time of his life. He says that he still has many memories of those years, but does not favor one over another.
“I live it, I have lots of time on my hand,” said Morry. “You kind of go up through it, just as a moving picture actually, the same way.”
In honor of over 100 years of life, organizers collected over 100 birthday cards for Morry from every state, and several foreign countries. Morry was also presented with a custom made cribbage board and a lifetime membership into the Flying Cross Society. Regarding the key to long life, Morry laughed, saying he doesn’t have a handle on it, but has accepted that everyone dies one day.
For now, Happy 101st Birthday Morry, and thank you for your service.