FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – This Veterans Day was extra special for a Fairborn family. Five generations celebrated together as the patriarch nears his 101st birthday.
The city of Fairborn honors its veterans every year at the flag pole, but this year there was a special honoree. Mr. Herman Holt is a 100-year-old WWII veteran who fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
Mr. Holt is still modest, saying, “I’ve done alright I guess,” even as dozens of strangers honored him this Veterans Day.
Hannah Ball of Fairborn attended the ceremony. She says, “It’s an honor and a privilege.” At nearly 101-years-young, Mr. Holt is a member of the greatest generation and one of a dwindling number of WWII veterans still with us. He says he still remembers those he served alongside 75 years ago.
Rita Dryden is Mr. Holt’s daughter. She says, “What sticks out the most is the Battle of the Bulge, of course, it was devastating.” Dryden says her father was drafted into the Army in 1944, serving in Europe through the end of the war.
Dryden says, “He didn’t talk about it much when we were growing up, but as he got older and as we got older, he talks a lot about it. It’s never left their minds.”
Ball had never met Mr. Holt when she showed up at the Veterans Day ceremony, but says she’s grateful for the chance to thank him for his service. “Our military, the men and women past and present, sacrificed so much for our nation, and that’s why we’re free.”
After the war Mr. Holt moved to Dayton, worked for GM, played the bass fiddle for years, then retired to Fairborn. He says one simple rule has helped him live a long, happy life. “Treat everybody as nicely as possible, don’t try to be above somebody else, so enjoy life along with them.”
Mr. Holt’s next milestone is fast-approaching. His 101st birthday will be celebrated December.”