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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America's New War: Remembering Other Wars

Aired September 28, 2001 - 06:53   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Americans who remember World War II have a different perspective on this world terrorism than others do.

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: That's right. CNN's Jason Bellini visited some nursing home residents to hear stories from the past and fears for the future.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LOUIS GROSSMAN (ph): This is me when I was in the Army.

JASON BELLINI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Louis Grossman (ph) remembers what he felt like at 18 -- serving his country, saving the world. Now, a new war is reigniting his patriotism.

GROSSMAN (ph): I wished I could continue to help in the war, but I'm 76-year-old, so that's out of the question.

BELLINI: They acknowledge their time left on Earth is short, but these nursing home residents, as they watch the news on TV, are reexperiencing old emotions.

KOPEL LEDERMAN: To tell you the truth, I am here 62 years in this country, and this was the greatest misfortune that I've ever seen.

BELLINI: Kopel Lederman left Poland before the Holocaust and joined the U.S. Army in time for World War II.

LEDERMAN: The other day when they had the memorial in Yankee Stadium, Placido Domingo was singing the "Ave Maria." Well, I'm Jewish, but the "Ave Maria" touched me, and I was crying.

BELLINI: Zoe Brown knows better than most what families of those killed in the terrorist attacks are going through. She knows their wounds, like hers, may never heal. Her sister died in the war a half century before.

ZOE BROWN: And she was only 32 years old, and that has made me feel so horrible about war. When it touches your family, that's when you really feel it. That's why I feel so sorry for the people in the Twin Towers. They had families that they lost, and I can feel how they feel. UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: I went to World War II the bombing of Tokyo. I was hit by a bomb. My sister was killed by it. We lost everything we owned. And it's not the anger or anything, it's just the memories that hurt.

BELLINI: Their lives, begun all over the globe and likely ending here, all share war as their most pivotal life experience.

Eva Spinoza (ph), at 83, remembers an entire regiment from Puerto Rico leaving to fight in World War II and not coming back. She holds a letter from her grandson, an Army Ranger based in Germany, who has been deployed somewhere.

EVA SPINOZA (ph): But they are not allowed to tell where.

BELLINI: Nettie Ketchel, at 96, just wants to leave a world at peace in peace.

NETTIE KETCHEL: I don't want to die worried. That's silly, isn't it?

BELLINI (on camera): No, it's not silly.

(voice-over): No one wants a world filled with tragedy to be the last thing they see.

Jason Bellini, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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