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Clinging to memories 65 years after V-E Day

Ted Alexander sat in a big overstuffed chair and reacted with surprise when told the 65th anniversary of V-E Day was just 48 hours away.  “Sixty-fifth? I didn't realize it,” he said. “That's a lot of time.”

This was Thursday just before noon, Alexander's 93rd birthday. He lives with his wife, Gertrude, and five other people in a small nursing home that has a golf course for a backyard and a duck that waddles through a field of tall, colorful wildflowers.

The nation he defended as an Army corporal in France and Germany has moved on and grown. Old memories have been slowly eroded by old age.

As many as 850 World War II veterans a day were dying across America as of April, down from as high as 1,200, but death is not the only thing brave men who stared down the vast armies of Germany and Japan fear today. There's also the loss of memory. It is the last battle for the veterans of that war, the one Alexander now fights.

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