BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Dozens of veterans and local from all over Kern County gathered Wednesday evening at the Kern County Museum to commemorate and remember the bravery and sacrifice ahead of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
“This is the last major anniversary we are going to have where we are going to have these marvelous human beings still with us to give us that living connection to our past," said historian Craig Luther.
A past that was a turning point for WWII in Western Europe when allied forces of Britain, the United States, Canada, and France attacked German forces on the shores of Normandy. An experience two WWII veteran in attendance will never forget.
“The Germans sent one tank back and knocked out all three big guns, they killed nine infantry boys, and I had my boots sitting at the top of my fox hole and it just rattled the top of my boots," said Bill Glaspie with Patton's Third Army. "But, I did get a new pair of boots after that."
Henry Oschner also remembers the moments leading up to his part in the liberation of a labor camp as well as taking Hitler's Eagle's Nest.
“All I can say is that, I hope I live through this," said Oschner. "It is kind of a scary thing, a very scary thing. All you got to do is keep looking around and you see a guy pointing a gun at you and you got to use yours first."
Their acts of bravery, Luther says needs to be honored and remembered not just on D-Day, but everyday.
“In other words, if the invasion had failed the world may look very different today than it does," said Luther.