Local WWII veteran shares how the 4th of July has changed through the decades


BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) —¬†As the number of older veterans declines more and more each year, one vet in Brunswick County is keeping our history very much alive.

96-year-old World War II veteran Alex Moskowitz shared his story, and tells us how things have changed since he was a young man in the Army.

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“I say from the neck up, I’m 30,” Moskowitz sayid. “From the neck down, I know how old I am.”

Moskowitz makes it seem like his days in the Army were just yesterday. Decades later, he reflects on his experience.

“I don’t think anything that I did is more important as anyone else that put on a uniform,” he said.

Humble is an understatement.

From 1943 to 1946, Moskowitz served in the Army in the Pacific Campaign of World War II.

“Do you think at 19 years of age I was thinking, ‘Oh I’m going to save the world?'” he said. “I wanted to come home. that’s the name of the game. Do your work. We did our work. Nobody complained.”

From the Philippines to Okinawa, Moskowitz has stories that have lasted a lifetime. He is one of the last few left to share the powerful memories.

“They sent me out to recover bodies,” he said. “I recovered bodies there. They had armament on them. You wouldn’t believe what they had. I still have a medal that I recovered there.”

That Japanese medal is one of several mementos, along with photos, letters and even a flag he used as his diary.

More than 70 years later, Moskowitz says it’s not about him, but about the millions of others who fought and sacrificed for our country.

On a day like the 4th of July, we typically reflect on those people. Moskowitz says the holiday is different nowadays.

“Everything has changed commercially,” he said. “Everything has become commercial. Families just like ours don’t get together.”

For Moskowitz, times like these are meant to be spent with loved ones. He says it’s not just about celebrating those who serve.

“I want you to celebrate the people that suffer,” he said. “A fellow that goes away and leaves five kids. Or a daughter goes away and the suffering that parents have to go through.”

Although he may be one of the fewer than 500,000 World War II vets still alive, Moskowitz says he family goes far beyond. He stays close with many other who served, young and old.

After all these years, we asked, what is his key to longevity?

“I don’t stop eating,” he said. “I could eat anything but the kitchen sink.”

Moskowitz is part of a veteran group that meets every year in Calabash to celebrate fellow World War II veterans. They meet on December 7, which is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.