Lehigh Valley

Safe travels, Ed: A new generation honors the Greatest

LOWER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP, PA. - When Ed Hunsberger was a teen, he was fighting at Iwo Jima.

The teens at Eyer Middle School weren't born yet.

In fact, their parents hadn't even gotten together yet.

Most of them told us, they didn't exactly know the story of Iwo Jima.

But they do now. Because Ed told them. Because they found out about his story, and wanted to help.

The students learned that 72 years ago, Eddie watched his fellow Marines raise the flag on Iwo Jima.

He survived that battle - and made it home to Northampton where he's lived a full, long life.

Now 90 years old, he says, it's time to go back to remember.

His family wanted to help him raise money for a special anniversary trip, so they set up a Go Fund Me page.

Our viewers responded in ways Ed never dreamed, raising nearly $10,000 in a matter of days.

"If you people wouldn't have done this," Ed says, "I wouldn't be able to go."

Ed fought, he says, because it was the right thing to do.
It turns out, the apple doesn't fall far from a strong, Pennsylvania tree.

When the students at Eyer Middle school found out about Ed's wish, they collected money, and presented him with one last check - with that, he met his goal.

"I feel like it's a great honor to have him in our community and I think it's crazy that he went through this, and he's still here today," says 8th grader Adam Burkholder.

"He did so much for our country and it was nice to give him some money to help him go back to the place where he fought so bravely," 8th grader AJ Voci says.

72 years, and Ed never forgot that day on Iwo Jima.

But in the hall with the students, we think, he'll always remember this one, too.

"I didn't think when I was on Iwo Jima, something like this would take place in my life," Ed tells the kids.

He adds, "I'm very proud of all of you."

Ed is a member of the Greatest Generation.

But he told us, he thinks this new one, is will be pretty great, too.

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