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The Last WWII Vets Converge on Normandy for D-Day and their Fallen Friends

John Leicester and Sylvie Corbet and Danica Kirka
KCen, June 4, 2024

“You don’t want other people to go through the same thing. Because I’ve seen a lot of these boys that never even made the beach, believe me. And we were all 18, 19 years old.”

Under their feet, the sands of Omaha Beach, and in their rheumy eyes, tears that inevitably flowed from being on the revered shoreline in Normandy, France, where so many American young men were cut down 80 years ago on D-Day.

Veterans of World War II, many of them centenarians and likely returning to France for one last time, pilgrimaged Tuesday to what was the bloodiest of five Allied landing beaches on June 6, 1944. They remembered fallen friends. They relived horrors they experienced in combat. They blessed their good fortune for surviving. And they mourned those who paid the ultimate price.
They also bore a message for generations behind them, who owe them so much: Don’t forget what we did.

“They probably wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t be successful,” said Llilburn “Bill” Wall, who flew bombers in WWII and will celebrate his 101st birthday this week as world leaders gather in France to pay homage to the D-Day generation.

… [To read the full article, click here]

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