OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– When Isidore Bialek landed on Utah Beach in Normandy, France it was 10 days after D-Day and the beginning of the end of World War II was underway. He would go on to fight his way through Normandy and later liberate Paris before getting injured in combat.
77 years later and Bialek is still with us and even remembers small details about his time overseas.
“There was one incident, I was opening up my sea rations and I had a little crowd around me and this little girl was 8 or 9 at the time, I looked at her and she looked at me and I opened my rations and I gave it to her,” he said.
For veterans like Bialek, D-Day is a day of remembrance, but for visitors, it’s one of admiration. People had an opportunity to admire that history while touring the LT-5 tugboat during the D-Day commemoration event at the Oswego H. Lee White Maritime Museum.
“It’s a relic of what happened during D-Day,” said Michael Brown, a volunteer at the museum and a Vietnam Veteran. “It saw combat and it’s kinda special.”
The Army boat was built in 1942 in Oyster Bay, New York and played a key role on D-Day providing ammunition to the Allied soldiers on the shores of Normandy. The tugboat has been sitting on the shores of Lake Ontario for nearly 30 years and serves as a national landmark at the museum.
“This just kind of represents the people who operate it, they may be dead now but we still have a lot of old veterans and those are great great generations,” he said.
And that’s something World War II veterans like Howard Hall can appreciate.
“Well there are a lot of people who don’t realize what they’ve got and not realize it until they don’t have it,” Hall said. “It’s a wonderful thing to have freedom.”
Their bravery carrying on for generations to come.