'In a war, no one ever wins': Memories, grief at WWII Memorial

Billings Gazette

by Cindy Uken

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A visit to the National World War II Memorial on Monday morning was all it took for John “Spook” Isotalo to be transported back to his days in the U.S. Army.

It was an emotional entrance to the World War II Memorial as U.S. Senators John Walsh and Jon Tester and representatives from Rep. Steve Daines’ office greeted each veteran as they entered the memorial.

The vets were joined by family and some strangers applauding and cheering as the 76 men and one woman entered the plaza.

“I’m just absolutely blown away,” said Isotalo of Billings, wiping tears from his eyes. “I’m just blown away. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this.”

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