LYNCHBURG, Va. – A flag-draped casket sat near the altar of Saint John’s Episcopal Church Monday, as loved ones gathered to bid farewell to Bill Sisk, who died last week at the age of 96.
The Lynchburg native left E.C. Glass High School before his senior year. He joined the army and landed on Utah Beach during World War II.
Bill’s daughter, Martha Hackworth, says he was an ordinary man who did extraordinary things.
“He saw these extraordinary things happening all around him and to be part of that history and share it, I think, is very important,” said Hackworth.
10 News sat down with Sisk earlier this year for our D-Day special. He shared stories about fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, liberating a Nazi concentration camp, and being wounded.
He was scheduled to have his leg amputated until the hospital fell under attack.
“I was lucky, I guess. The Germans put the rockets over on us. The rockets landed pretty close to the hospital, and the beds were bouncing on the wards. The medics and the nurses were underneath the beds,” said Sisk in May 2021.
The Purple Heart recipient was a member of the weekly Monument Terrace Troop Rally.
He had Hackworth drive by the rally earlier this month. It was Sisk’s first visit since the pandemic began. Sadly, Sisk died in his sleep three days later.
Marking one final visit, the hearse drove by the monument Monday.
One of the pallbearers, David Stokes, co-organizes the weekly troop rally.
“Anytime we can recognize a veteran, we do so. But a World War II veteran? You know, they’re the ones that really saved the country over the world,” said Stokes.
Stokes says now there’s only one World War II veteran remaining in the Lynchburg area.
Hackworth plans on carrying her father’s legacy by educating others.
“That’s what Dad really wanted done. He saw it as a mission to let people know what really happened during World War II,” said Hackworth.
To Sisk, serving his country was a way of life.
“We just got the idea that’s what we wanted to do,” said Sisk back in May.
And when we asked him what his message was to younger generations, it was simple: “Patriotism. Believe in America. Honor the flag.”
Sisk’s family asks for any contributions to be made to the National D-Day Memorial, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, or the Lynchburg Area Veterans Council.