World War II service force recognized in Rockford memorial service

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- An annual memorial service in Rockford marks the reunion of one World War II service force.

The Canadian/American First Special Service Force of World War II was recognized at the 73rd annual service.

The group formed during the war as a joint unit between the two countries. It is known as the first allied unit to enter Rome in June 1944, after breaking through German's winter line.

Friday's event included a color guard, a 21-gun salute, benediction, wreath laying and a moment of reading names of those who passed over the last year.

"It's quite an honor to be here and have all these people coming from all over Canada and the United States," says Robert Schober, son of First Special Service Force Association member Albert Schober. "They are able to honor them and the services they did for us both countries."

The United States Congress awarded the unit the Congressional Gold Medal in 2015.