ROCK HILL, S.C. — There aren’t many World War 2 veterans left these days, and sadly today our area said goodbye to one more.
But friends, family and other veterans made sure his life was remembered in a big way.
Herbert Dickson Sr. was laid to rest on Friday.
He served in the European Theatre starting in Normandy through the liberation of Europe.
Out of roughly 200 men of the 505th Tank Ordinance, Dickson was the last man standing.
“Him being the last one it just kind of is a reminder that the World War 2 guys, are ya know, we lose World War 2 veterans everyday,” said Annette Marlow, Dickson’s granddaugther. “In fact, there’s not very many left so as young people, it’s our duty really to, to know our history and honor those veterans.”
A service so patriotic began with a motorcycle procession, a World War 2 fighter plane flyover and the hearse and casket, draped in the American flag.
“He had such a wonderful charitable way about him, that he gave everything to children and to all the people he came across, he was a gift to all of us, he fostered so many things that were good,” said Vincent Morabit, a long-time friend of Dickson. “He was courageous the way he fought through World War 2. He was certainly a member and representative of the greatest generation. I’m so proud to have known him.”
The VFW presented the rifle salute to Dickson followed by the presentation of the flag to next of kin. Dickson’s granddaughter wore his World War 2 army jacket singing to her grandad the classic, Amazing Grace.
“My dad just presented me with this army ring belonged to my grandfather, which that was very touching,” she said. “I didn’t know he was going to do that. Granddad was very special to me. I was his baby girl, and it, we are going to miss him dearly.”
Morabit was Dickson’s friend of 45 years. He talks about some of the veteran’s experience in Normandy, resulting in a win in the Hedgerows Battle.
“They set up their welding operations right on the beach head and they took the cross bars from the resistance that the Nazis had set up and then they cut the cross bars and welded them to the tanks and then they took the tanks and they plowed through hedgerows where the Germans were putting up such a terrible fight against our troops,” Morabit said.
Friends say if Dickson were still here, he wouldn’t boast about his war experiences, rather he’d say he simply loved everyone.
“God has given us a wonderful person and many times in are lives, we are blessed with such a person, so he leaves a memory of wonderful things for our children to try to emulate and try to understand,” Morabit said.
Dickson and his wife Irma loved cruising. He was also always up for a good laugh.
The veteran was even a proud member of St. Anne’s Catholic Church here in Rock Hill.
In the video above, CN2’s Sarah Obeid was invited to his graveside service at Forest Hills Cemetery.