Back from Normandy, Congressman meets with WWII Vet - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Back from Normandy, Congressman meets with WWII Vet

Back from Normandy, Congressman meets with WWII Vet

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By: Melissa Randall
mrandall@abc6.com

Congressman David Cicilline is back in Rhode Island after spending last week in Normandy for the D–Day 70th anniversary ceremonies. Monday morning he had the opportunity to share stories of that visit with a World War two vet who served in the allied invasion.

Sitting on a couch in his Congressman's Pawtucket office 90–year–old Leo Heroux shared his memories of the landings. The Central Falls man served as part of the 384th amphibious engineers where he helped unload ammunition supplies to the troops.

"I was scared like hell when I landed on the beach because I don't know what the hell was going on. Shrapnel was flying all over the place. All over us," he said.

Heroux doesn't like talking in depth about the losses he suffered out there on the shores.

Despite all the years gone by the pain is still fresh.

Congressman Cicilline was inspired by the World War II veterans he met while at last weeks ceremony.

"Being there you sort of learn the enormity of what these brave men undertook in the invasion," said Cicilline.

Heroux couldn't be there, so the Congressman brought him back mementos including sand from Omaha Beach. In return Heroux showed him the ration boxes the troops carried. Like many brave men who fought Heroux is modest about his role.

"I'm not a hero. Heroes are all the ones that died on top of that hill," he said.

The allied invasion marked the beginning of the end of World War II. The congressman says those who fought to restore democracy deserve our gratitude.

"But for their courage, and but for their tenacity and for their willingness to fight for our freedoms we would live in a very different world today," said Rep. Cicilline.

Heroux has spent many D–Day anniversaries in Normandy himself. He and his wife lived there for 40 years after the war.

(C) WLNE–TV 2014
Follow me on Twitter @MelissaARandall
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