ROSSFORD, OH (WTOL) - It's an honor that's taken 76 years, but for a Rossford it family made all the difference this Memorial Day weekend.
It's just another accolade for Edward Nycz. He's been awarded the good conduct medal, been post commander of Rossford's American Legion and most recently given his high school diploma.
"It's a feeling you really can't explain so it's really great," said Joseph Nycz, Ed's son.
While it may look like any other diploma from Rossford High School, it's not. It's one that's taken 76 years to get, but the recipient, Ed Nycz will never see it.
"My dad came here established a home here, raised his three kids here and had them go to high school here," said Jim Nycz, Ed's oldest son. "For him to now receive his degree, it's just really an awesome thing."
Ed Ncyz was just 18 years old when he d ropped out of school to enlist in the Marine Corps. He served during World War II from October of 1942 to April of 1946 all over the world from Quantico Virginia to Okinawa, the Ryukyu Islands, and China.
His twin boys say he left school for war to create a better future.
"Both his parents came here from Poland," said Joesph. "They came for a better life and he was going to make sure they had it and he did."
It was actually the construction at Rossford High School that led to Ed being honored on Memorial Day.
They were in the process of creating the Bulldog Foundation, a type of hall of fame for Rossford graduates.
"That's how this whole thing came about," said Jim. "They said well they are going to be honoring veterans and I said well I'm not quite sure how that's going to work because my dad never really graduated."
Together the school, alumni, and the community joined together to make sure they could honor Ed. They decided to not only give him his diploma posthumously, but also decided to honor him during their Memorial Day parade Sunday.
His children rode in the parade as their community remembered their dad ten years after his passing at the age of 85 years old in 2008.
"When we were in the parade you could see the excitement of all the people for my dad and what he represented as a U.S. Marine," said Jim Nycz.
After receiving their father's diploma his son say Ed would be proud, but he would be prouder of his brothers and sisters who sacrificed so much for us.
"There's a lot of people that never even think twice about their freedom and I think that's the biggest thing that you don't really realized how many people pay the price," said Joe Nycz.
Both Joseph and Jim say they want to not only honor and remember their dad who was a hero this Memorial Day, but all those from every branch and every war who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.