The day after the landing, "the tide had come in and washed all the dead bodies up against the sea wall. I couldn't believe it," said Proffitt, second in command of a boatload of soldiers in Company K, 116th Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division.
Thousands of spectators gathered under brilliant sunshine to honor Proffitt and other veterans of the largest seaborne invasion in history and the Normandy campaign that drove Adolf Hitler's troops from France. states. With the youngest of them in their late 80s, the event had been billed by organizers as likely the last large gathering of D Day veterans. community. Senator Tim Kaine.
"If there was such a thing as hell on earth, that was it," Proffitt, Nike Air Max 90 Winter Boot
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Other D Day events across the country took place at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, and in Abilene, Kansas, the boyhood home of Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower.
But the main attraction was the elderly veterans, many in wheelchairs, who shared their memories of the fighting.
"You had two things facing you, one was the enemy, the other was death. We lived like animals," said William "Doc" Long, 90, of Oak Ridge, North Carolina. Long was wounded by an anti tank shell and spent 25 months in a hospital.
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One of the dwindling band of World War Two veterans who gathered on Friday at the National D Day Memorial to mark the anniversary, Proffitt was in the first wave of infantry put ashore on Normandy's Omaha Beach in the teeth of German gunfire.
BEDFORD, Va., June 6 (Reuters) Seventy years after D Day, Carl Proffitt Jr. can still remember the bodies of soldiers washing up on France's Omaha Beach in the Allied invasion that helped turn the tide against Nazi Germany in World War Two.
of Liberty with a million red rose petals. (Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Peter Cooney)
The commemoration included prayers, a flyover by World War Two aircraft, a parachute jump, the reading of eyewitness accounts of the invasion and bands playing martial tunes and 1940s' swing. A bagpiper skirled "Amazing Grace," wreaths were laid and a bugler played "Taps."
"Blown to pieces, human bodies, all kinds of equipment. I can't discuss it, really, because I don't know how."
95, of Charlottesville, Virginia, told Reuters. He still carries German mortar shrapnel in a leg.
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