Local veterans remember D-Day at Champion ceremony - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Local veterans remember D-Day at Champion ceremony

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CHAMPION, Ohio - Many of our valley's bravest gathered Friday night to remember a significant day in World War Two at a ceremony.

A caravan of motorcycles from American Legion Post 700, military vehicles, buses and even a nursing home transport arrived at Champion High School. Seventy years after D-Day, five veterans arrived with wheelchairs and walkers to talk about the days they fought and served in World War Two.

"I flew 44 combat missions, bombing missions. My experiences were great and I returned. That's the greatest part of the whole thing," said U.S. Air Force veteran Thomas Palmer of Cortland.

Fred Kubli, who is now a general with the Air Force Reserves, served in an Army medical unit in the war and was among the faces of freedom for those housed in an Austrian concentration camp.

"We went in and liberated these people from the German prison camp. They had a German factory there where they were going to manufacture an airplane that they said was going to destroy the United States and Great Britain," Kubli said.

As Air Force Captain Scott Allen sang "God Bless America", a Merchant Marine veteran reflected on the spirit of our country 70 years ago.

"The patriotism that this country had during that period has never been that great and I miss that," said Dick Beachler of Warren.

Those currently serving our country said these veterans are an inspiration.

"It's a celebration of our freedom. The men who served in World War Two and D-Day and the Pacific to fight for our freedoms not only as Americans, but people overseas in other countries fighting for their freedoms," said Joseph Zufelt, a Gunner Sgt. in the U.S. Marine Corps.

150,000 Allied troops risked their lives in Nazi-occupied France on D-day in 1944.
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