D-Day 80th anniversary: New memorial unveiled to honor veteran who made major strides during WWII

Veterans, their families and the community at large came together in Atlantic City for the long anticipated unveiling of the Bernie Friedenberg World WarII memorial on the 80th anniversary of D-Day. 

"Jews all over the world knew what was happening and my father wanted to fight." said Susan Friedenberg, daughter of Bernie Friedenberg.

And he did just that. Friedenberg’s daughter spoke of her late father’s dedication to the country he loved, similar to the thousands of veterans who signed up to join the fight.

"We would be speaking German or Japanese if it wasn’t for you. You saved the world," she said.

Friedenberg proudly served as a medic during WWII rendering aid and saving the lives of his fellow soldiers during combat. 

He was assigned to the medical detachment, 1st battalion, 16th regiment and the first US infantry division. He was deployed to many of the major battles during the war, including Omaha Beach in 1944.

"My father was a very humble man. He never walked about the war ever. Like all combat soldiers, they don’t discuss it." said Susan Friedenberg. "We learned years later that daddy was really shot four times, not twice. He tended to his own wounds because he said I have men to patch up, I didn’t have time for myself. That’s who Bernie was".

His brave service earned him two purple hearts, two silver hearts, and two bronze medals.

The veteran died in 2018 and now this memorial bears his name for the world to see.

"My dad’s favorite quote is freedom is not free, it was bought and paid for with the blood and lives of many brave men and women. Many things are not worth fighting and dying for but freedom is," said Friedenberg’s daughter 

The sentiment was echoed by extraordinary World War II veteran May Brill who is still standing proudly and strong at 100 years old.

"Women were there too. They were right beside the men," Brill explained.

The 100-year-old veteran, who was honored in Philadelphia back in March, said memorial events like this one are the sober reminders everyone should see to never forget.

"We want people to remember that people died for our country," said Brill. "It's about time that people in general do this and remember."