'A fitting tribute': Saying goodbye to the greatest generation

'A fitting tribute': Saying goodbye to the greatest generation

BOSTON — Ed Hamilton revisited Pearl Harbor on the 75th anniversary of its bombing three years ago.

The World War II veteran served in some of the most momentous battles of the Pacific war and he lived the rest of his 93 years relishing the gift of surviving it.

"He was a hero, a love to the community," his daughter Laura McDonagh said at his funeral Thursday. "A life well lived, a life well loved."

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His funeral was a fitting tribute to a man who survived a war so many did not.

Hamilton and his daughter traveled to Hawaii three years ago and met Armando "Chick" Galella, a 98-year-old survivor who served with Hamilton in Okinawa.

"We are the greatest generation and there’s very few of us left and people don’t realize that," Galella said on Thursday.

That's why it was important for Chick to be present for Ed’s final salute.

"[It's] Sad in one way, but happy in another; because he’s in a place that we all want to go to. He has joined his comrades now, and I think that’s where he would want to be," Galella said as he began to cry. "I hope to join him."

Their generation is slowly disappearing, but will live on through the monuments that bear their name. The flags that fly in their honor. And the stories that family will continue to share.

"You think your dad is a hero, but when they've survived the greatest generation war, they're really heroes," Laura Hamilton said.