PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — World War II ended 76 years ago. But Leo Beland still remembers what he saw in battle like it was yesterday.
Beland, 98, was on hand Monday morning as the Pawtucket Veterans Council held an annual ceremony to commemorate Victory Day, the Rhode Island holiday that marks the end of the war. Organizers say he is the last World War II veteran still able to attend the event.
“There’s a lot of guys that are still over there, and they’re not coming back,” Beland told 12 News. “If we don’t honor them, who’s going to honor them?”
In the above video, Leo Beland remembers what he saw after landing on Ohama Beach in France as part of the Allied invasion force in 1944. He was awarded the Purple Heart for his bravery.