Official White House Photos -Tia Dufour (additional photos available upon request)
Thomson, GA – On Thursday, October 24, 2019, Congressman Jody Hice (GA-10) was proud to have members of his staff escort 96-year-old Luciano “Louis” Graziano, of Thomson, Georgia, and his family to the White House for a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence. While there, he was presented with a letter from President Donald J. Trump expressing the Commander in Chief’s “personal admiration and our Nation’s everlasting gratitude for [his] valiant service during World War II.”
“It is always a privilege to honor the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, who have risked all to defend our values and strengthen the freedoms that we enjoy each day,” said Congressman Hice. “Among our Nation’s heroes is Louis Graziano, a World War II veteran from Thomson, Georgia, who landed with the third wave on D-Day on Omaha Beach, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and witnessed the signing of the German Instrument of Surrender at the Little Red Schoolhouse.
“Mr. Graziano, from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of a grateful Nation, thank you for your dedicated service to our country during World War II. Your story is truly an incredible one, and your significant contributions during your tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Europe will not be forgotten.”
Mr. Graziano is the last surviving witness to the German surrender of World War II. He traveled with his family to Washington, D.C. to serve as a panelist at the American Veterans Center's 22nd Annual Conference at the National Archives and was a D-Day veteran honoree at the American Valor Gala. Last year, he published a book, A Patriot’s Memoirs of World War II, in which he wrote about his experiences – including trials, challenges, and falling in love – during the war.
The following is the complete text of President Trump’s letter to Mr. Graziano:
Dear Mr. Graziano, As Commander in Chief, I extend my personal admiration and our Nation’s everlasting gratitude for your valiant service during World War II.
More than seven decades ago, the eyes of the world were upon you and your brothers-in-arms as you stormed the heavily fortified beaches of Normandy, France. The scene before you was treacherous and the outcome unknown, but in the wake of chaos, you bravely forged ahead in battle.
Our Nation enjoys peace and prosperity because of patriots like you who answered the call to defend our freedom. Your legacy of selfless sacrifice does not fade but grows more meaningful with the passage of time. Your generation, the Greatest Generation, demonstrates that there is no greater courage than that which burns in the hearts of America’s warriors.
I am inspired by the strength you have exhibited throughout your life and send my best wishes to you and your family. Sincerely, Donald J. Trump