MIDDLETOWN -- Out of all the festivities and parades in remembrance of Memorial Day, one veteran said this holiday is something special to him.
Angelo Bartolotta said he was there when allied forces faced incredible odds on D-day during World War Two.
He was just 18 at the time when he was drafted and shipped off to war as a part of the 110th Anti-Aircraft Battalion which landed on Omaha Beach.
Bartolotta said, “So I was there during the second wave and it was interesting. The doors opened and instead of us jumping off we had to go on trucks because there were people trying to get in. The ramp was down, and we couldn’t get off the ship, so we had to carry the wounded and stuff to the back of the ship.”
Bartollotta was one out of 55 people who were drafted from Middletown and were all placed in the same outfit.
He said his troop was lucky having not suffered as many losses as others.
Bartolotta said, “When we got on the beach they fired for 24 hours at the artillery and a couple of them got wounded.”
At 94-years-old he said looking back he didn’t realize then what he survived through would be a part of history.
Bartolotta said, “I didn’t realize how honored I should feel. I do feel I had no idea but it made me feel like an American.”
Bartollotta was honored with the key to the city and was the grand marshal of the Memorial Day parade.
Recognition he said made him feel proud to serve.