Remembering D-Day as It Happened

SCRANTON, Pa. -- History was made 75 years ago with the D-Day invasion. And while their numbers are dwindling, there are still some in our area who remember that day clearly.

Allied forces invaded Normandy, France on June 6, 1944 – D-Day – the largest seaborne invasion in history and the beginning of the end of World War II.

Thousands of miles away and 75 years later, what happened on the French coastline remains fresh in the minds of some. We spoke with people at the South Side Active Older Adult Community Center in Scranton.

Joe Nieroda recalls going to a movie theater and seeing newsreels of the landing.

"I saw all these guys going in the little boats and they were like sitting ducks. They were getting shot, they were getting, just getting killed by the dozens. I remember because my wife's uncle was a young captain in the Army and he was killed," Nieroda recalled.

What some say they remember most during that time was the fear.

"You just had to be worrying all the time, worrying that your brothers would be coming home. Of course, I had a brother in the Marines at the time and it was scary," Geraldine Milliron said.

"We were glad it was happening, but boy, we lost a lot of guys, a lot of men we lost on that landing," Joe Cutonilli said "I hung around with a Rapcheski. He was killed, and another guy was killed."

People say what's so important is that we never forget D-Day, the bravery, the sacrifices and how it changed the world.

3 comments

  • Rusty Knyffe

    Today, in this contemporary society, people (including me) do not have one iota of understanding of what true sacrifice is. The young men who stormed the beaches at Normandy were seasick, frightened, and certain of dying in battle. Yet, they mastered their fears, won the day, and turned the tide of World War II. Had it not been for these fine, truly courageous, and selfless young men, we would all be living under a different flag with a different language and a set of beliefs that were obligated. These young men came from all walks of life and brought their own beliefs, religions, cultures, and methods with them with one vital thing in common: to stop tyranny on foreign soil so the world could maintain their own beliefs, cultures, religions, and governments.

    Oh, I so wonder what these incredible fellows would have to say about the direction our nation has taken in the past decade………….God bless them all, every day.

  • scrantonpothole

    “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.” – John Adams

    We have a responsibility as Americans to know, understand, and pass on the history of our great nation. God bless our brave veterans and God bless the Unites States of America.

  • yabbadabbadude

    75 years ago brave 18-year-olds were charging headlong into German machine gun and mortar fire to keep the world free. Now they’re offended by mere words and ideas that don’t fit their world view. How far we’ve fallen in the span of one lifetime.
    Hard times create strong men.
    Strong men create good times.
    Good times create weak men.
    Weak men create hard times.

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