Each time coronavirus takes another World War II veteran, ‘we lose a part of history’ – USA TODAY

Albert Berard was part of the first wave of U.S. soldiers who approached France’s Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

The signalman’s landing craft had sailed into hell. All around Berard, men were cut down in a haze of bullets and blood. One explosion resulted in something landing on his back. It was a severed arm. He was 19.

Nearly 76 years later, Berard lay in his bed in a Massachusetts nursing home dying from complications of COVID-19. He passed away without family at his side on April 27. He was 95.

“These men risked going to war and dying in a foreign place all alone, and now they’re dying away from home without anyone,” says his son, Wayne-Daniel Berard, 68. “We know this generation is old and dying. But they deserve to have people around them. That’s the heartbreaking thing.”

With the coronavirus disproportionately claiming the elderly, especially nursing home residents, some worry it could accelerate the passing of the World War