Memorial Day brings back WWII memories for the family

PENDLETON, SC (FOX Carolina) — Attending the Memorial Day ceremony at Veterans Park is a family tradition for Harold Duncan and his brother, Dennis Duncan. The Duncan brothers lost their father, Bruce Dewitt Duncan, 26, during World War II. He died on March 29, 1945 while fighting in Germany.

“I’m honored that our father lost his life for this country,” Harold Duncan told FOX Carolina. “I remember where (where) he was standing – holding me the day he was shipped.”

Older brother Dennis said he knew his father wouldn’t be going home when he saw a Yellow Cab vehicle heading towards the family home. The same taxi service had delivered a telegram to his grandmother’s house less than three months earlier saying their uncle had been killed in action while fighting in France. Paul Delane Duncan was 23 years old.

“It overwhelms me to think of what my grandmother went through,” Dennis Duncan said.

Their grandmother, Lily Duncan, had five sons serving in the military during World War II. The other three sons have returned home. Pendleton’s American Legion Hall is named after the two sons who did not.

Dennis and Harold Duncan said their mother, Wilma Duncan, never remarried. The brothers, who were 8 and 5½ when their father died, said it was not easy growing up without a father. They said it was comforting to know that the community remembered the sacrifices of their father, uncle and so many other World War II veterans.

“They are the greatest generation,” said Harold Duncan.

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