WWII vet Harry Hansen, of Dix Hills, celebrates 95th birthday

Harry Hansen, of Dix Hills, celebrated his 95th birthday. He's a veteran who served the nation in World War II. (3/16/14)

DIX HILLS - A Suffolk man who had a front-row seat to history celebrated a milestone birthday today.

Harry Hansen, of Dix Hills, celebrated his 95th birthday. He's a veteran who served the nation in World War II.

Hansen signed up for the army after the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He went to war, battling the Nazis in Normandy as a member of the 320th Infantry Division. His brothers fought as well, but they didn't return home: his older and younger brothers both died.

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As Hansen tells it, he received the call to come home just as his infantry division was set to invade Germany. He remembers the ship that carried him home, and the first sight that greeted him upon his return. "One morning I woke up, and there was the Statue of Liberty. And I said, 'That's the greatest thing I ever saw,'" he recalls.

After the war, Hansen married the love of his life, Theodora, and they settled on Long Island in 1950. They had three daughters, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, most of whom surrounded him today to celebrate his special day.

Hansen says his tips for living a long, prosperous life are to keep your finances in order, and to be happy.

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