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Nassau County vets honored ahead of 75th anniversary of D-Day

A patriotic salute at the Nassau County Courthouse Wednesday honored the courage and sacrifice of those who secured our freedom.

News 12 Staff

May 22, 2019, 9:33 PM

Updated 1,858 days ago

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A patriotic salute at the Nassau County Courthouse Wednesday honored the courage and sacrifice of those who secured our freedom.
The celebration came on the eve of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when nearly 160,000 Allied troops stormed the coast of Normandy, France, which led to the liberation of Europe from the Nazis and the end of World War II.
Among the veterans honored for their service was 99-year-old Tony Catalano, an Army sergeant from Mineola who fought in the snow for more than 80 days during the Battle of the Bulge.
"We had 4 feet of snow, we ran out of rations on the fourth day, on the fifth day ran out of water and I told my guys fill up your canteens with snow and we drank snow for about a day until Gen. Patton sent a food truck over," says Catalano.
Vincent DeMartino, 94, of Floral Park, also fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He says he remembers his fallen comrades daily, and still recalls them by name.
William Johnson, 94, of Glen Cove, helped break the color barrier in the U.S. military as a Tuskegee Airman.
"I'm most proud that we were so successful that we made changes in military service, and we made changes in the country also," says Johnson. "We proved that it's not the color of your skin, but the character in that particular person."
Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas says our nation owes veterans a debt of gratitude, adding, "They fought for everything we hold precious in our lives can be directly to them and the sacrifices that their families have made for our ideals, our virtues."
The veterans honored in Mineola say all they want is for people to take a moment to remember the fallen this Memorial Day.


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