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Harmonica Pete performs at D-Day ceremonies in Fairport

D-Day ceremony at Freedom Hill in Fairport
Alex Crichton
D-Day ceremony at Freedom Hill in Fairport

D-Day ceremonies were held in communities around the Rochester area on Thursday  to mark the 75th anniversary of the allied invasion during WWII.

At Perinton Memorial Post 8495 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Fairport, 96-year old World War II vet Pete Dupre, better known as "Harmonica Pete," played the national anthem for those who gathered at the VFW post on Macedon Center Road.

He often plays his harmonica at military memorials and other events, and a recent video of him garnered him celebrity status.

In 1944, DuPre was training to be a medic when the invasion took place.

He says this is a good time to thank those who remain for having served their country in World War II.

``We are a dwindling crowd of people.  So take whatever time you can to just go over and shake somebody's hand or pat them on the back and say thank you for the service," he said.

Commander Mike Cialini read the D-Day message Gen. Dwight Eisenhower sent to the allied forces before the invasion.

``The tide has turned.  The free men of the world are marching together in victory.  I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle.  We will accept nothing less than full victory," he read.

The invasion proved to be one of the most decisive campaigns in World War II.

The D-Day ceremony was held at Freedom Hill, adjacent to the VFW post in Fairport.

Here’s “Harmonica Pete” playing the national anthem before D-Day ceremonies in Fairport:">

Harmonica Pete says he hopes his playing will keep the memories of the Greatest Generation alive:">