NAZARETH, Pa. - Five local veterans were honored Friday by fellow World War II vets for their service storming the Normandy beaches on D-Day 70 years ago.
"I was blown from one deck to another. I was impaled on the gun rack," recalled Rev. Edward McElduff.
"I do remember seeing a fellow there with his legs off, still alive," explained Dick Schermerhorn.
"Only thing I had the feeling for was to get in there and get on that land," Joe Motil said.
It was service of pride, but also pain for D-Day veteran Bill Dhuyvetters, who was one of the first wounded on the beach. "I feel sorry for all those over there that gave their lives for our freedom today."
There are only about 1.5 million World War II veterans left. The 70th anniversary could be the last big ceremony.
It's estimated between 600 and 1,000 World War II veterans die every day.
If this is a last hurrah for many D-Day veterans. Those like bombardier Major Nathan Kline know their heroics on that beach won't ever be forgotten.
"The recognition, the continued recognition is greater with these vets than any other war because it's the most meaningful war we've had since World War I actually," Kline said.
For Kline, the day is driven by emotion, especially as he remembers the Star Spangled Banner playing over the radio while flying into war.
"It was yesterday. It hasn't changed, hasn't faded," Kline tearfully said.
Allentown, PA 18102
- Lehigh Valley 69 News