DRUMS, Pa. -- It’s a day that changed the course of history -- on June 6, 1944, Allied troops rushed the beaches of Normandy, France, during World War II on what’s now known as D-Day.
In 94 years, Norman Scheutrumpf has seen a lot of the world, but something he heard 74 years ago really sticks with him.
“Did you ever hear bullets whizzing around your ears?" Scheutrumpf said with tears welling up in his eyes.
Even though it’s decades later, the Army veteran always remembers the way it felt to rush off the boat and onto the beach. It’s something he wishes he could forget.
“They never told us what beach it was or nothing. They just said you're going in. That's all we heard and that's all they told us,” Scheutrumpf said.
He and 150,000 other Allied troops stormed the shore not knowing what to expect on that day of days or what was to come as he fought in Europe.
“I didn't think much of anything. I just wondered, 'Well, what the devil am I getting into?'”
Others weren’t so fortunate. They were dropped off the landing crafts in deeper water and struggled to get to land.
“I guess we were one of the lucky ones and they got us a ride up on the beach,” Scheutrumpf said.
He now lives at Providence Place near Hazleton with his wife of almost 50 years. Even all this time after D-Day, he said it's still something that's not easy to talk about with his family.
“They used to ask me about it but I said, 'Forget about it. I don't want it,'” Scheutrumpf said.
He still keeps a photo in his apartment of himself and some of his comrades when they learned the war in Europe was over.
They have every reason in the world to brag about what they did that day 74 years ago, but yet Scheutrumpf still finds nothing but humility.
“I don't know if we saved the world or nothing, but it was something different. I know that,” Scheutrumpf said.
He was supposed to be re-deployed to the South Pacific once the war in Europe was over, but because the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan his deployment was canceled.
He returned home in 1946.