About this Article
The solemn ritual plays out dozens of times every day with a neatly folded flag, a crisp salute and one more goodbye to a fast-fading generation of soldiers, sailors and Marines. The ranks of World War II vets are shrinking. The youngest are now in their mid-80s. About 650 die each day, thousands are laid to rest every week. Beyond these numbers, there are individual stories of ordinary lives shaped by an extraordinary chapter. Here are their stories.