Normandy, France (WLTX) - A group of World War II veterans from our state traveled to Normandy France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day; the largest sea invasion in history.
"We didn't deserve it but we are grateful for it," said Leif Maseng.
For the first time in 70 years, Leif Maseng returned to the beaches of Normandy France; the same ones that he and his fellow troops stormed in a planned attack that took Hitler's forces by surprise.
Many lives were lost so returning to this place was bittersweet.
"I wasn't really excited about coming but being here among everybody that is of a similar mind, just made me feel so good I can't describe it."
The non-profit Overlord 70 took 20 veterans from the Midlands to France for the anniversary--and covered all the expenses.
Maseng still remembers his mission like it was just yesterday.
"We flew over the beaches; there wasn't anyone on the beaches when we came through, so we had no concept of what was going on. It was only later that we found out what we had to do in spite of the danger."
The veterans visited the battlegrounds and museums.
Maseng says this trip back to a place that was once a reminder of those who lost their lives fighting for justice is something he will never forget.
"Good memories as well as bad memories. You don't think about the bad ones but the good ones are so much fun, especially sharing them with little children."