Nicholas Manzo, a 93-year old WWII veteran, was ticketed for an illegal turn – the first traffic offense in his life. Having to appear in court in 2019, Manzo offered the judge a story rather than an excuse for his crime. The judge allowed him to tell his story, and in the end, it proved to be enough to not only get Manzo out of a fine, but inspires the entire courtroom.
Check out the interaction in the video below:
“There’s no question I was wrong,” Manzo tells the judge. “That is the first violation I’ve gotten in 72 years of driving.”
The judge confirms Manzo’s age, a ripe 93, before Manzo cuts in.
“WWII veteran,” Manzo proclaims. “Spent 29 months in the Pacific without coming back, and came back alive.”
The Navy vet says that he served for three years beginning on his 17th birthday, but he wanted to join even before then.
“The truth of it is I joined the Navy when I was 16 years old. I got my birth certificate and I forged it, I made myself 17, and I went down to the recruitment station to join the Navy. But two weeks later, a policeman came up to me and wanted to arrest me for forging my birth certificate,” Manzo explains.
“But I waited another year and I went into the Navy. Every battle that was in the Pacific, I was there.”
Manzo’s story inspires the judge to share one of his own. He explains that he often receives checks from veterans who hope to help other veterans with their donation. The judge says that a $50 check he received would go towards Manzo’s fine, and the citation would be dismissed from his record.
The appreciative Manzo says that his father was also a veteran. An immigrant who came to this country searching for a better life, the man served in WWI for 18 months before returning home.
“They should build a monument to your family,” the judge exclaims. “between your father in WWI and you and your cousins and your uncles in WWII, it’s unbelievable.”
“I can’t thank you enough for your service, thank you and good luck to you,” the judge concludes. Certainly a wonderful moment for everyone in the room.