ALBANY, N.Y. – World War II veterans gathered in Albany Monday to tell stories of their time in service.
A group of veterans left from the Albany International Airport in May to take a trip to Washington D.C. to visit World War II memorials and to honor the men who fought beside them.
Ralph Avery served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. His tanks invaded Normandy Beach.
“We managed to get two of them on the beach, so it gives the guys some support but everything was so bad,” he said.
Harold Williams also fought on D-Day. He remembered finding a Jewish family in a Dutch village that had been in hiding for four years.
“I tell ya, that was the day you were proud to be an American,” he said. “Just to think that we gave them their liberty.”
Frank Luska, 93, said the memories of Omaha Beach remain vivid in his mind.
“I watched the whole slaughter,” he said. “And I mean slaughter. I didn’t talk about it until about three or four years ago. I held it in me. Now I cry.”
The men took the Patriot Flight to the nation’s capital on May 10. They said they enjoyed the trip, and it was an honor to serve the country. Avery said the trip was just as emotional as Monday’s reunion.
“Everybody that was in combat that got together down there; there wasn’t a dry eye in the place,” he said. “You just automatically cry.”
Another Patriot Flight to Washington will take place in September.