BEAVER, Pa. (KDKA) — June 6, 1944. Thousands of lives hung in the balance as young men stormed the beaches. Many would not come back. Of those who did, a precious few remain.

Sunshine in Beaver County serves as counterpoint to the leaden skies over Normandy 70 years past.

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Thirty-four of those young men of long ago gather at the World War II Memorial in Beaver. They share a bond that only wartime veterans understand.

Private Warren Goss of was among the men who dodged enemy fire on Utah Beach.

“I jumped off the boat there, and I was in water, I would say, up to my chest. And as the waves came, I had to jump so I wouldn’t go under,” he recalls. “Held the gun up and run in, and then as the water went down I could go better. And once I got onto sand I could move. We were trained as good as dogs. You don’t stop and think, you just go do it. And you didn’t stop to look around at what was happening too much. I run. And boy, did I run!”

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Congressman Keith Rothfus hosted the ceremony, handing out commendations to the men who risked their lives to secure our freedom.

So now they gather in the park, old soldiers, cherishing their brief moment in the sun – celebrating successes, mourning fallen comrades who never made it home.

“God bless them, every damn one of them,” says Goss. “They were good people.”

Seventy years later, they still are.

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