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US Observes 60th Anniversary of Hitler's Defeat

Pat Bodnar

Sunday, May 8, is the 60th anniversary of VE-Day. It is the day that the Allies defeated the Germans in World War II.  Despite the cruelty of war, this was one in which many individuals gladly volunteered to serve, even if it wasn't for their own country.

Joseph Fromm is 80. He volunteered to fight in the war and helped the allies chase Erwin Rommell out of North Africa. Too thin for the U.S. military, he joined the British, as an ambulance driver, then the Indian Army as a Captain.

"I surprised myself, and I decided to go. I was glad I did it. I overcame my sense of guilt about enjoying myself so much while so many of the people I was close to were being shot," says Captain Fromm.

It's been 60 years since the war ended.  16.5 million Americans served. More than 50 million people died fighting Germany and Japan.  Joe Fromm fought side by side with Indian soldiers and maintains a life-long respect for his military brothers.

"I had served with Indian units in Italy. I had been attached to two Indian Units there… I've always felt the Indian soldiers didn't get the respect they deserved for their contributions to the defeat of Hitler and the resistance against Japan," says Joseph Fromm.

Captain Fromm is visiting the recently completed World War II memorial for the first time, and pauses to remember. He says, "It is not something I like to talk about. Occasionally my grandchildren ask me about it… What we achieved and what my generation achieved is the greatest inspiration of my life."

On this 60th anniversary of VE Day, Americans will pause to remember those who served for a cause, whether they served in the American Army or the Indian.

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