(KFVS) - On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, we wanted to offer a historical perspective on its importance.
We spoke with a professor at Southeast Missouri State University and a 93-year-old veteran from Herrin, Illinois.
Dr. Frank Nickell said the Allied invasion on the beaches on Normandy helped preserve the future of the United States.
"Eisenhower said when he sent the men across the channel, this is the great crusade. And it really was and it did save America, it did save western democracy, it did save the sort of society that we aspire to, a democratic society," Dr. Nickell said.
Seventy years ago on Friday, a Herrin native was only 23 and stationed as a soldier in Czechoslovakia on D-Day.
Now, at 93, Bruno Delai recalls his 36 months spent over seas during World War II. He called it "something else, but an experience that shaped who he is today."
Delai said he hopes for a safe return to the men and women still serving.
"Well, it is great to be here and I pray everything goes well, and I pray for all the soldiers that's hurt, everyday I pray for them and it is great to be here," he said.
He considers himself very lucky.
He's happy, in good health and surrounded by family and loads of grandkids.
After the war ended, Delai returned home to marry his long-time love, Olivia. They were married 63 years ago.