St. Louis veterans who fought in the Battle of the Bulge are being honored today for their sacrifices 67 years ago.
At a memorial ceremony today in south St. Louis County surviving veterans saluted the 20 thousand American soldiers who died during the six-week battle.
Donald Green of south St. Louis County was an 18 year-old Private in the 106th Infantry Division the first time he saw a Tiger 1 German tank.
“Scared the hell out of me,” Green said. “Yeah, I can remember the first German tank. It was the biggest thing I ever saw. It was the biggest one they made. We figured if he was shooting at us there was no way he was going to miss.”
On Dec. 16, 1944, Green was in a Belgium trench, carrying a 30-caliber machine gun. The Battle of the Bulge had just begun and wouldn’t be over for weeks past the New Year.
His message for U.S. troops away from home this holiday season?
Green: “For the guys overseas, hang tough, it’ll end. And,uh, just stay safe.”
The bloody holiday-season battle was the last major Nazi offensive against the Allies in World War II.