North Texas WWII veteran honored with final salute

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Independence Day is a celebration of our freedom, and in turn, those who fought to keep it.

More and more of our World War II veterans are leaving us every day, but not without a final salute.

Like lots of homes this Fourth of July, patriotism flies high at the Morrison house.

“He used like a blow torch to curve the wood,” Jan Morrison said.

Inside, there's a love for handcrafted items, and the guitar-strumming patriot who carved them.

“He gave everything, he just, he just always wanted to do the right thing,” Morrison added.

Before Morrison's father, Glenn, was entertaining people with a handmade guitar around a bonfire, he was an 18-year-old Navy sailor battling in the Sea of Japan during World War II.

After the war -- and even into his 90s -- the dedication to his country didn't go away.

“I've got pictures of him, he was leaving the house, walking with his wheel chair, and he stopped and he saluted the flag,” Morrison said. “He loved it. He loves his country.”

Like far too many World War II veterans these days, Morrison fell ill last month.

At the age of 93, he was rushed to Presbyterian Hospital in Rockwall, and died the next day.

“He was a great guy, and there's so many people that are going to love him and miss him,” his daughter explained.

Morrison wasn't in the hospital long. He barely knew many of his caretakers, but something special happened as they started his final journey from the hospital to the funeral home.

“There was a gentleman that came in that was a chaplain, and my brother -- my little brother knew him -- and he got in touch with another guy that does this and let him know that he had a veteran at the hospital that had just passed away,” Morrison said.

And seemingly out of nowhere, the hospital stopped for a final salute.

“Walking down the hall behind my daddy and everybody up against the wall, because there were so many of them, crying, you know. It was patients, doctors, nurses, people who were coming in to visit. It was really special, especially because I knew he would like it,” Morrison added.

Hospitals can be frantic, busy, sometimes even cold places.

But the Morrison family is comforted their sailor left this earth honored.

“It was just so moving and just a blessing, just because my dad. That was always the thing he tried to do. So we were very honored that they did it,” Morrison added.