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World War II vet shares firsthand account with Boiling Springs Intermediate students

Herald-Journal - 3/18/2017

March 18--Boiling Springs Intermediate School students had the chance to learn about World War II Friday from someone who was there.

U.S. Army veteran Horace Beauford, 93, visited a group of fifth-grade students who have been studying about the war. Beauford described what it like to storm the beaches of Normandy on D-Day and make his way through Europe.

"If it weren't for those boys, and thousands of others like me, I believe we'd be speaking German today," Beauford said.

Beauford is one of only a few thousand World War II vets left in South Carolina, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Ashley Stanton, a fifth-grade teacher at Boiling Springs Intermediate, said Beauford's visit showed students the real impact the Battle of Normandy had on the tide of the war.

"It is important for students to hear firsthand experiences. When they can hear and see history it becomes more real and relevant," she said.

Students were in awe of Beauford's medals, including a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

Beauford also talked about how the men he served with became like family. "When you're in the Army, they're like your brothers," he said.

On the 70th-anniversary of the D-Day invasion, Beauford said he returned to Normandy and was awestruck. He plans to return again in 2019.

Student Will Hardee said classroom lessons on World War II were made more vivid through Beauford's visit.

"It's kind of crazy," he said. "There are so few people left from World War II."

Kyler Hardee, no relation to Will, said he liked hearing about Beauford's experience driving a tank.

"He's telling us the real story of what happened to him," he said.

Rene Beauford, Horace's daughter, accompanied him on the visit.

She said her father was overjoyed to talk to students, and to share a bit of his history with them.

"I just want to thank each and every one of y'all that showed up today," he said. "It means a lot."

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(c)2017 the Spartanburg Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, S.C.)

Visit the Spartanburg Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, S.C.) at www.GoUpstate.com

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