Philadelphia man tending to Vietnam, Korean War memorials for past 3 decades

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Philadelphia man tending to Vietnam, Korean War memorials for past three decades
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Philadelphia man tending to Vietnam, Korean War memorials for past three decade. George Solis has more on Action News at 6 p.m. on November 11, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- All day people paused to pay their respects to the men and women of our U.S. Armed Forces.

In Philadelphia, many stopped by the Korean and Vietnam War memorials.

It's where you might usually find 75-year-old Jim Moran.

"People stop and say to me 'thank you', I don't need a thank you from anybody," Moran said.

At this point, you may be thinking, he's just another humble hero. But his service to the military didn't come from any past conflict.

"It's just so heartwarming for me to be able to pay tribute, my tribute to these memorials" he explained.

A tribute you might see in action again, and again and again.

"I pick it up yeah, I pick it up," he said as he collected one piece of trash after another.

For the last three decades, Jim was been cleaning and tidying up the memorials.

"I don't scrub them like I used to because of my age," Moran said.

He does it, not because anyone asked, but because of the respect, for every name etched into the granite, which includes his own brother, Marine Bernard J. Moran Jr., who died when his plane was shot down over Cambodia.

"I started out for him, my brother, Bernard, and then I found out through the years that I don't only have one brother, but I have 648 brothers," said Moran.

Jim was there the day the memorial was dedicated and use to spend hours daily.

He even carries a piece of it from when it was vandalized along with this brother's dog tags.

"I want my brother to be as close to me as possible," he said.

These days Jim mainly travels by bus and efforts about three visits a week.

"I don't need a lot of help, I can manage it myself," he said.

A helping hand here and there is appreciated, but if there's no one around, he says that's okay too because he's not stopping anytime soon.

"I'm going to keep this up to the day I die, hopefully," he said.

Jim says he'd like to see more flags put up at the Korean War Memorial and hoping to inspire others to help.

Above all he just wants people to honor and respect all the men and women who served and continue to serve.