Transcript for World War II veterans pay respects at US cemetery in Normandy
tonight, and our series return to normandy. As you know, we have been documents the journey, w0r8d war II veterans from every corner of the country. They had never met, but they are brothers, and they all flew here together. They have arrived here in normandy, and what they told me about what they found here, including the veteran who was determined to find the friend he lost, with a photograph he has held onto for 75 years. We have been documenting their journey for weeks. World War II veterans who were there on d-day. From Alabama, to Tennessee, to California. All flying to Atlanta to then make the trip back to normandy together. They had never met. But already, they shared a bond. The pilot thanking them. We can never repay you for the debt that you have paid for us. Reporter: Flying to France and then driving to normandy. Oh, my heart beats. Reporter: Where 75 years ago, tomorrow, they were the young men who stormed the beaches. Who watched brothers die. Who bravely changed the course of the war. 75 years ago tomorrow, d-day. I was 19. Reporter: The veterans we have followed have made it back. 75 years later, just being back here, what's -- Oh, this is stunning. This is beautiful. Reporter: Today, one by one, we greeted each of them again. This time, in normandy. We gather in the normandy American cemetery, the site of the first cemetery set up by the U.S. Army just two days after d-day. As we sit here in this cemetery, you can't help but to think of -- That's true, that's true. Reporter: The brothers who didn't come home? That's true. Reporter: What is it like to be back 75 years later? Well, it's a good feeling now. Reporter: A good feeling now, he says. That their shared history is being remembered on this anniversary. But jack Claiborne says remembering that day isn't easy. 75 years later, do you still remember that day? Yes, sir. Vividly. Yes, sir. Reporter: They all do. Which is why for some, the decision to come back was not an easy one. In many ways, it's difficult to come back. True. In fact, this my first time back. And I came within -- I'm going to say one hour of not coming back. Reporter: Harold mcmurran of new market, Alabama. He has often thought of the men who did not come back. Who did not have the lives that are you thinking about them right now? Yes, I'm thinking about them right now, because I'm right next to them, so I have to think about them. But I will not dwell on it. Reporter: Vincent Unger, from Orlando, did not know how he would feel seeing this cemetery. I was wondering how I would react, and really, I was captured. I still am weeping within some because I saw so many young guys that day lost their lives. Reporter: These veterans now returning to those beaches of normandy. 50 miles of coastline. Codenamed, Utah, Omaha, juno, sword. Veterans hand in hand, returning to where it all began. Harold collecting sand to take home with him. And strangers walking up to Onofrio Zicari from Las Vegas, to say thank you. Sir, thank you for your service. Thank you. Thank you. Reporter: 75 years after the bloodshed on this beach. This whole beach, whole section, as far as the eye could see, was just men coming ashore, coming ashore. Unbelievable. And Onofrio had one more wish. A lot of graves. Look at all the crosses. Oh boy. Reporter: To find the grave of the friend he lost. He still has the photograph of him standing before his friend's grave so long ago. And all these years later, he finds him again. Donald E. Simmons, who died on June of 6th, 1944. He was in the service with me. He got killed. Reporter: And on the eve of th anniversary, we wondered, has this trip helped? Has it brought any closure? Yeah. It's brought closure because it's brought me to another way of thinking. And it's done a real good thing for me. It's given me a peaceful feeling anyway. Reporter: And for Harold, who almost did not come -- has this brought you some peace? Yes it has. Reporter: Well, we're grateful you came back. Thank you. Reporter: How important is it that everyone back home remember? I don't want anybody to forget this. It's too important. It's just too important to our country. Reporter: Well, jack, Harold, Stan, Harold and Vinny -- it's an honor to sit here with you all. Thank you for your service. Thank you. Appreciate it. Reporter: And for this group of veterans, who became men on this beach, who met each other to make this trip back to normandy together, a salute in normandy. That salute on the beach where they landed 75 years ago tomorrow. We salute them tonight for their candor, their bravery, and we also thank the group forever young senior veterans and Diane height who has helped so many of these veterans make this trip. We'll have much more tomorrow night right here, followed by a special edition of "Nightline," return to normandy, tomorrow night.
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