Belen veteran who missed graduation to fight in WWII remembers D-Day

Updated: 06/06/2014 11:37 PM | Created: 06/06/2014 6:05 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A 90-year-old Belen man not only risked his life on D-Day, he also sacrificed his high school graduation to fight in World War II.

On June 6, 1944, when many of his friends had just graduated high school, Luis Silva was on Omaha Beach in Normandy, fighting for his life.

"I didn't think I was going to make it," he said.

Silva spoke with KOB on the 70th anniversary of D-Day and it still brings back painful memories all these years later.

"The only thing I'm very happy about is I'm still living," said Silva. "And what I went through was pretty rough."

Silva was among the $160,000 troops that invaded Normandy. Many of his friends didn't make it.

"There were a lot of snipers shooting at us as were coming in," he said. "A lot of guys got killed on that D-Day."

Silva says he's lucky to have survived. But he sacrificed something very special. Because of the war he missed his high school graduation.

He finally got his diploma 70-years later. KOB first introduced you to Silva last month when he walked across the stage.

"For me, I didn't think that dream was going to come someday," he said.

But this and every D-Day anniversary, Silva remembers all his fellow soldiers who didn't get to come home and accomplish their dreams. 

"A lot of guys got killed," he said. "It was rough."

After the war, Silva came back to New Mexico where he met his wife. They're still together today and just celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary.

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