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Ceremony held at Funeraria del Angel honors POW/MIA

TUCSON — A memorial service held on Sunday at the Funeraria del Angel South Lawn Cemetery honored POW/MIA.

World War II Veteran Walter Ram was among those in attendance. He was a prisoner of war in Germany for two years. Ram enlisted when he was just 16-years-old, and said had no idea that in two years he’d become a prisoner of war.

“It was a new world, a new life, new everything. Once we were captured, we forgot everything about the past and the future,” he said. “I met a lot of fellows. Of course, they were all prisoners and some of them were friends all the way through until they died.”

Ram was captured after his B-17 Bomber plane was shot down in Germany. Only four members of his crew survived.

“You suffered a lot as a prisoner from hunger. I went from 160 to 97 lbs in two years,” Ram said. “We suffered a lot from cold and all that, but we were alive and that’s what counted.”

He’d eventually be released and make it back to his family in Tucson.

“In a sense, it makes me feel guilty. Why did I survive,” Ram said. “Why didn’t they survived? I suffered from that a long time.”

On Friday, the nation recognized POW/MIA Day as a way to say to those men and women that they are not forgotten.

“To me, I feel like I have a weight inside of me that will never get out because I think of those fellows,” Ram said.

Denelle Confair

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