BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — There are 300,000 World War II veterans still alive to mark this Veterans Day, but that is down from nearly one million just five years ago and Kern County laid to rest one of its more unique "brothers" last week.
E.T. Roberts passed away on October 16 at the age of 96.
The D-Day survivor was part of the Army's 29th Infantry, landing in the second wave on Omaha Beach.
He shared his experiences on numerous occasions keeping those memories alive for future generations.
Earnest endeared himself to local organizers of honor flight who said his sacrifice will never be forgotten.
"The heros of wwii gave something to protect us, do what needed to be done, dirty work, you helped defeat the most ruthless armies and liberate two continents," said Lili Crommet-Marsh of Honor Flight Kern County. "The power of freedom, transform the bitterest of enemies into the closest of friends."
The number of WWII survivors is expected to continue to dwindle in the coming years, dropping to a projected 60,000 by 2025.