Nearly two-dozen veterans attended the event, including three who participated in the D-Day invasion. The commemoration drew a capacity crowd and attracted the attention of CBS News.
CBS reporter Mike Parker and cameraman Chris McKnight arrived two hours before the presentation to film the museum and interview veterans. Their coverage appeared on the 10 p.m. news.
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All the veterans in attendance were acknowledge by name at the start of the commemoration, after which they led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.
After offering insights into the war in Europe leading up to and including D-Day, museum Memorabilia Curator Steve Corbo invited the three D-Day veterans to the front.
A standing ovation greeted Seaman First Class Joseph Carioti, who shuttled troops and equipment to Omaha Beach on the day of the attack; Private First Class Louis Venditti, who parachuted behind enemy lines in the wee hours before the invasion; and Private First Class Bob Wilcox, who landed on Omaha Beach later that afternoon.
The commemoration concluded with a screening of an episode of the award-winning BBC documentary “World at War.”
“The veterans were just beaming as the applause of the audience washed over them,” Corbo said. “It was a truly gratifying moment for me personally, all three of the veterans and everyone in the audience. I was so proud to be a part of it.”