World War II veteran and longtime North Bend resident Burt Mann was honored as the Citizen of the Year at the March 5 city council meeting.
The council meeting was full with citizens attending to support and congratulate Mann for receiving the honor. Mann, now 96-years-old, has been an active member of the community as the Mount Si Senior Center volunteer gardener along with a variety of other roles.
The North Bend Citizen of the Year is given to people who make the city a better place to live. Through his service to the community and his knowledge of the city gained through daily walks, Mann was chosen for the award.
Mayor Ken Hearing read a few of the citizen-submitted nominations for Mann, describing him as a kind, open-hearted community influence.
Mann grew up in Chicago where, after his parents died, he was taken in by a local butcher who gave him a job. In 1941, he enlisted in the military after hearing news of the attack on Pearl Harbor. After being wounded in action during the fight at Normandy on D-Day, he returned to England for medical attention.
Mann would go on to serve in the Philippines and Japan before returning to Chicago after the war. Back home, he married and started his family. For 12 years he served as a police officer before buying a restaurant and tavern. He moved to North Bend when he was 69 years old.
“I’m very grateful for the people that came here that I know as friends,” Mann said to the audience. “Words alone cannot express it. I am blessed in my later years of life. It pays to get old… People pick me up, they drive me here, they take me grocery shopping. They clean my house. I’m a millionaire — I don’t know how good I got it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you all.”