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World War II veteran in South Windsor, a former POW, celebrates his 100th birthday on Veterans Day

Kena Casaol, lifestyle director with Resort Lifestyle Communities, dances with World War II veteran and birthday boy Ed Rosen the day before he turns 100.

SOUTH WINDSOR — For local veteran and former prisoner of war Edward Rosen, age is nothing but a number. But this year is an important one, as he celebrates his centennial on Veterans Day.

Rosen, who lives at Evergreen Crossings Retirement Community, was presented with a Certificate of Special Recognition in honor of his 100th birthday at a party Friday afternoon.

Rosen served in the U.S. Army during World War II. In the summer of 1943, Sgt. Rosen and 10 other soldiers were captured by German soldiers while embedded in the mountains of Italy, surviving 18 months as a prisoner of war in Poland. He weighed as little as 85 pounds, he says, subsisting on bread scraps and potatoes until he was freed in 1945.

Rosen went to college after the war and began working for plastic company in 1967. He retired from the business in 1997, moving to Connecticut in 2017 to live closer to his family.

Rosen said though he doesn't feel strongly about turning 100, he is happy to be here.

"Really, if you think about it, it's only a number," Rosen said.

Rosen attributes his long life in part to taking responsibility for his health.

"The important thing is if you need to go to a doctor, go," Rosen said. "That is my motto — just take care of yourself."

Rosen said he recognizes that luck has also brought him this far. He said that though he faced many hardships in his military service, but his only major injury was to his arm.

"I was wounded and they fixed it, and I'm here and I thank God every day that I'm here," Rosen said. "You can’t help that things happen … but remember that you only have one body, you got to take care of that body."

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, thanked Rosen for his service, and promised that he'd come back for the 101st birthday party next year.

"It isn't too often that a great veteran and a great guy reaches 100 years," Blumenthal said. "It's really a special day."

Bobbi Schilberg, Rosen's daughter, said his family made a bigger deal out of his 100th birthday than he ever would have on his own.

"Turning 100 to him was just another birthday," Schilberg said.

South Windsor resident Sandi Plummer said Rosen was close to her dad and fellow veteran, Nathan Shor, who died last year at 105.

"(Rosen) used to sit with my dad and two other guys, and as much as any of them could hear each other, they had conversations," Plummer said.

Plummer said Rosen is fun, intelligent, and a people person who likes dancing and always has a smile. She said Rosen also used to follow the stock market closely.

"He would pass the Wall Street Journal and newspapers on to my dad every day," Plummer said.

Schilberg said her dad has a nickname, "Steady Eddy," that comes from his levelheadedness.

"Even when bad things happen, he always draws himself toward the good," Schilberg said.

Schilberg said Rosen is particularly hard of hearing due to a rocket that exploded right next to him and his company during World War II.

"People talk to him and they think he's being rude, but he just can't hear them," Schilberg said.

Plummer said she found it especially noteworthy that Rosen was born on the day that became known as Veterans Day. When Rosen was born, just four years after World War I ended, the day was celebrated as Armistice Day.

"You wonder if that's what made his life the way it's been," Plummer said.

Article was originally published here.

"Really, if you think about it, it's only a number," Rosen said.

Rosen attributes his long life in part to taking responsibility for his health.

"The important thing is if you need to go to a doctor, go," Rosen said. "That is my motto — just take care of yourself."

Rosen said he recognizes that luck has also brought him this far. He said that though he faced many hardships in his military service, but his only major injury was to his arm.

"I was wounded and they fixed it, and I'm here and I thank God every day that I'm here," Rosen said. "You can’t help that things happen … but remember that you only have one body, you got to take care of that body."

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, thanked Rosen for his service, and promised that he'd come back for the 101st birthday party next year.

"It isn't too often that a great veteran and a great guy reaches 100 years," Blumenthal said. "It's really a special day."

Bobbi Schilberg, Rosen's daughter, said his family made a bigger deal out of his 100th birthday than he ever would have on his own.

"Turning 100 to him was just another birthday," Schilberg said.

South Windsor resident Sandi Plummer said Rosen was close to her dad and fellow veteran, Nathan Shor, who died last year at 105.

"(Rosen) used to sit with my dad and two other guys, and as much as any of them could hear each other, they had conversations," Plummer said.

Plummer said Rosen is fun, intelligent, and a people person who likes dancing and always has a smile. She said Rosen also used to follow the stock market closely.

"He would pass the Wall Street Journal and newspapers on to my dad every day," Plummer said.

Schilberg said her dad has a nickname, "Steady Eddy," that comes from his levelheadedness.

"Even when bad things happen, he always draws himself toward the good," Schilberg said.

Schilberg said Rosen is particularly hard of hearing due to a rocket that exploded right next to him and his company during World War II.

"People talk to him and they think he's being rude, but he just can't hear them," Schilberg said.

Plummer said she found it especially noteworthy that Rosen was born on the day that became known as Veterans Day. When Rosen was born, just four years after World War I ended, the day was celebrated as Armistice Day.

"You wonder if that's what made his life the way it's been," Plummer said.

Article originally appeared here.


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Resort Lifestyle Communities

Resort Lifestyle Communities (RLC) develops all-inclusive resort-style communities to provide a relaxing and worry-free retirement lifestyle for residents. The comfort, safety, and enjoyment of our residents are our top priorities. For this reason, every community is staffed with live-in managers, a 24/7 emergency alert system and concierge service, gourmet chefs, housekeepers, maintenance staff, a full-time lifestyle director, and more. For more information about RLC, visit RLCommunities.com.


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