George Sarros

D-Day veteran George Sarros (left) with travel companion Tom Bugala, in front of the cruise ship heading to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. / Donated photo

Flat Rock resident George Sarros was a motor machinist on LST (Landing Ship, Transport) 515 when his ship and more than 1000 others invaded the coast of Normandy in the dark, early-morning hours of June 6, 1944.

Delivering troops, tanks, and ambulances to the beach, they participated in what’s been called “the beginning of the end of World War II in Europe” – D-Day.

LST 515 later picked up the ambulances carrying the wounded soldiers and ferried them to hospitals in England, including Pathfinder paratroopers who had been dropped behind enemy lines to disrupt the Germans’ communication lines.

Sarros is one of hundreds of D-Day veterans from the U.S. and Canada who were invited by the French government to come on an expense-paid 12-day trip to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day on Normandy Beach on June 6. This ceremony will be attended this year by France’s President Emanuel Macron, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

For their first nine days, these D-Day veterans and their travel companions are on a cruise ship, stopping in the ports of Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, and other ports, before arriving at Normandy Beach. There, along with military parades and a ceremony, they will be treated to a re-enactment of hundreds of young paratroopers in WWII uniforms, jumping out of planes to show the world what that part of the invasion looked like.

Sarros’ invitation by the French government was the result of an article in the online Transylvania Times contributed by Brevard’s Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas.

Staff of the National WWII Museum in New Orleans saw the T-Times article and made the referral to the French government, who then formally invited Sarros.

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