Today in History for June 14th

Highlights of this day in history: Nazi Germany’s troops enter Paris during World War II; TWA Flight 847 hijacked; Stars and Stripes adopted as official U.S. flag; Leftist guerrilla Che Guevara and real estate mogul Donald Trump born. (June 14)

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American and German Veterans Reveal The True Horrors Of D-Day (HBO)

George Ciampa had never left the United States before being drafted into the army to fight Nazi Germany in 1944. But at 18-years-old, he was on the shores of Normandy in France, collecting the dead.

Paul Golz was a reluctant 19-year-old with the German army, sent to Normandy to try and block the Allied invasion. He was tasked with carrying ammunition for a machine gun crew.

Seventy-five years later, both men mark the living memory of one of the most significant moments of the 20th century. And as world leaders gathered in Normandy Thursday to mark the enduring legacy of D-Day, these men, both now in their 90s, recounted what it was like.

“The government didn’t want bodies lying around for other troops coming in to see,” Ciampa told VICE News from his home in Palm Springs. “We gathered them as quickly as we could.”

Before he could bury the dead, Ciampa had to survive landing at Utah Beach.

“You’re seeing guys getting hit. You’re seeing bodies,” he said. “I was scared to death, tell you the truth.”

Golz was 14 years old when he heard the German army had marched into Poland. By 19 he’d been drafted into that same army.

“I saw the American wounded,” he told VICE News from the village of Königswinter in Germany. “The German wounded, I didn’t really notice them until I heard them scream: ‘Comrade, help me.’ That’s when I understood ‘the hero’s’ death. Nobody wants to die a hero’s death. Those are all young kids who want to live.”

Ciampa and Golz represent the thinning ranks of soldiers from both sides of the war that are still alive to tell the story of the largest military invasion in history. They hope their legacy lives beyond their generation.

“I do think that we have to tell these stories,” said Golz. “These young people, who haven’t experienced it, they have to realize that because of this successful invasion, we have had 70 years of peace. They should always preserve that, preserve the democracy that we gained because of it.”

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Pence lauds ‘Bedford Boys’ on D-Day anniversary

Vice President Mike Pence traveled to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, and paid tribute to the “Bedford Boys” and all veterans who fought to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany. (June 6)

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Today in History for May 27th

Golden Gate Bridge opens to the public; U.N. Tribunal indicts Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic; the British Navy sinks Nazi Germany’s battleship Bismarck; Actor Christopher Reeve is paralyzed. (May 27)

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Today in History for May 22nd

Highlights of this day in history: Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy sign the ‘Pact of Steel’; Richard Nixon is the first U.S. president to visit the Soviet Union; Actor Laurence Olivier born; Johnny Carson hosts his last ‘Tonight Show.’

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Thousands march in Moscow to mark World War II Victory Day

Thousands carry portraits of World War Two soldiers as they take part in the ‘Immortal Regiment’ march in Moscow: Russia was marking on Thursday the 74nd anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany.

Today in History for May 7

Highlights of this day in history: The Lusitania sunk in World War I; Nazi Germany signs surrender in World War II; Vietnam’s Battle of Dien Bien Phu; Composer Peter Illych Tchaikovsky born; Glenn Miller records ‘Chattanooga Choo-Choo.’ (May 7)

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Today in History for May 2nd

Highlights of this day in history: Nazi Germany’s capital Berlin falls in World War II; Artist Leonardo da Vinci dies; Civil War Gen. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson killed; Nelson Mandela claims victory in South Africa vote; Singer Bing Crosby born. (May 2)

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