Bombs buzzing overhead. Frigid winter nights spent in a foxhole. Surgery without anesthesia.
The circumstances that millions of young American men endured in World War II are beyond imagination for most of us. Today, on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, we want to express our appreciation for all who served.
Three Marion County veterans were honored at Tuesday’s city council meeting with official commendations from the U.S. Army. Clinton Burns, William Flanigan and Douglas Oswald were presented with the framed certificates, which commend them on behalf of a grateful nation for “selfless service and bravery during the D-Day invasion as a member of the greatest generation the United States has ever known.”
At 97 years old, Mr. Burns can now smile after relaying the story of having all his top teeth knocked out when a buzz bomb exploded over their camp in Belgium, and remembering being sewn up in a makeshift field hospital 20 miles away then walking back to rejoin his unit. He recited a poem about World War II that drew a standing ovation from the standing-room-only crowd.
Mr. Oswald, now 95, explained that it’s difficult to talk about things he’s tried to forget for 75 years, but said it was nice to be recognized.
“We knew one thing—we knew our people at home were behind us 100 percent. We knew all the people we left over here on this side were behind us, and that’s a really good feeling.”
“It was quite an experience for a young lad,” added Mr. Flanigan, who was only 21 in 1944. He considers himself lucky to have made it back home.
Please join us in recognizing the incredible bravery of these men and the impact their sacrifice has had on our community, our country and our world.