NATICK, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – The state’s largest D-Day ceremony was held in Natick Friday. Vets who attended received a special honor from the French government.
Arthur Cotton, a Navy Seaman, landed on Utah Beach in Normandy, France 70 years ago, but for him it’s a memory that seems much more recent.
“It only seems like 20, 70 years goes so fast it's unbelievable," Cotton said.
Cotton rode in on pontoon boats carrying vital equipment for the D-Day invasion.
"I went in to Utah and it wasn't as bad as Omaha. Omaha was real heavy," he said.
Cotton, 89, was one of the younger D-Day vets at the special ceremony hosted at the Museum of WWII. Among the artifacts from that fateful day, Cotton and 9 others received a very special honor, a medal with the insignia of the Legion of Honor, which is the highest honor from France bestowed for civilian and military service.
Many of the men present Friday, like Albert Berard, won't and can't forget the horror of war.
'What I remember the most about that day I will never divulge because the scene was too horrible," Berard said.
Watching the memorial going on in France brought James Zographos to the verge of tears.
“I could cry when I see that,” Zographos said.
The rows of white crosses honoring the fallen in Normandy still tug at his heart 7 decades later.
As each D-Day vet receives a medal and a hug, they all know they are lucky to be alive and that the freedom they fought for has made the world a better place.