We are the last generation to know our World War II veterans and the sacrifices they gave for our freedom.
I’ve had a few veterans sit and tell me about their experiences and it’s hard to wrap my head around the horrors they faced.
You got people who lied at 16 just to do what they knew was right in a time of peril for the world while people in their early 20’s need safe spaces these days.
Bless every one of those who risked losing everything to save what they love, and bless the memories of those who gave it all to make it happen.
The 96-year-old Harry Snyder was only in his early 20s when he joined the U.S. Army. He was one of those who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day during World War II.
Speaking to the Mercury, Snyder said, “I was lucky. I never got wounded. I came close many, many times.”
Not everyone gets to see their dying wish come true, but with the right family and friends – one with connections to a bagpiper – Harry Snyder got his.
The 96-year-old military veteran and cancer patient likely does not have long to live and wanted to hear bagpipes before they are used at his funeral.
And one sunny morning on July 26 in Philadelphia, he suddenly heard something playing on his driveway.
The WWII veteran had previously mentioned that he wanted bagpipes to be played at his funeral. However, his daughter decided to let him hear the Scottish ensemble while he was still alive.
“I said, ‘I’d really like to do it now, while he’s still alive,’” Potter said.
Snyder’s wife, Doris, told WTXF, “This is a nice surprise.”
Harry Snyder was 22 years old when he stormed the beaches of Normandy with the U.S. military on D-Day—a battle that changed the course of World War II and history.
After the war, Snyder used to speak at schools.
His daughter, Karen Potter, said her father talked “about things like the Holocaust to kids, saying ‘You never, ever want this to ever happen again.’”
Snyder managed to return to Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-Day back in 2014 though, God willing, he hopes to visit again someday.
But on this morning in July 2018, a frail but determined Snyder walked out of his house with the aid of a walker to witness his dying wish granted.
Friends, family, military, and police were gathered as the bagpipes sounded their soulful tunes and Snyder couldn’t hold back his tears.
“I can’t believe this. I hope I deserve it,” 96-year-old Harry Snyder told a WTXF television reporter after Jeffrey T. Steen, an applied management student from Coatesville, played.
Watch the video below to see the emotional moment.
This was so sweet. This man is a true hero.
He comes from a great generation, where the men were real men willing to risk their lives so their children could have better lives and live free. The millennials should learn from these great people before it’s too late.
May God bless him!