Decorated war veteran from Truro passes away at 98
Published Thursday, June 13, 2019 10:50PM ADT
A well-known veteran of the Second World War has passed away.
Herb Peppard was originally from Truro and had an accomplished military career.
On Thursday, the flag outside the Royal Canadian Legion in Truro flew at half-mast, in memory of the well-loved veteran.
“I’m gonna miss him,” said Reby Stewart, who works with veterans.
Peppard passed away Wednesday; he was 98 years old.
“Herb was a phenomenal human being,” said Truro town Coun. Cathy Hinton. “I don't think anyone could ever say a bad word about Herb. He was an inspiration to so many.”
Peppard was a veteran of the Second World War and a member of an elite unit, comprised of both Canadian and American soldiers, known as The Devil's Brigade.
He was also a well-known public speaker and author. In an interview two years ago, he reflected on his time in the war.
“I was mighty scared, hearing the explosions and when you're alone it seems to be worse,” Peppard said. “You're trying to put on a big front when you're with somebody. When you're alone, you don't have to do that, so, I was very frightened. Once it hit me really hard. I was thinking, if, I got killed and blown to pieces, nobody would know.”
Among his many accomplishments, Peppard was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the United States government.
Peppard's family say he died peacefully, with family by his side. They say they are devastated by his death and call him a great man, not just for what he did in the war, but, how he lived his life.
In addition to his military honours, those who knew Peppard say his family was of utmost importance.
“He is a remarkable man,” Stewart said. “A very family man. I've never seen such a close family as herb and his children.”
Hinton says Peppard was a war hero that inspired her every day.
Three years ago, the Herb Peppard Park was opened in the town. It sits across the street from where Peppard grew up.
“Herb told me that of all the accolades that he received in his life time, and there were many, that having this park named after him was the greatest honour he'd ever received,” Hinton said.
Hinton is now pushing to finish the park in herb's memory. The space still needs to fundraise, so, they can complete the fencing around one side of the space.
“If Herb touched your life, or, you were inspired by Herb's story and his bravery and his commitment to community, the best way is to keep this park in perpetuity, to keep it going and keep it beautiful (is to) make a donation through the town, or, you could contact me & I'll make sure you get your tax receipt,” Hinton said.
Peppard's family say they plan to have a celebration in his hometown at some point down the road.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Natasha Pace.