Reporter: Melinda Zosh
Bedford, VA - Bedford took a step back in time Saturday to World War II. The National D-Day Memorial hosted the '40s Family Day Festival. It's been a tradition for the past nine years.
Hundreds of World War II trinkets were on display. Dozens of re-enactors roamed around recreating battle scenes as well. But the real hidden treasure here was all the living history, including those that saw the action up close.
The images of war are still fresh in Mills Hobbs' head, 68 years after he first set foot on the shores of Normandy.
"I took my helmet off, looked up to the sky and said 'good Lord, you get me through this mess, I'll be a good boy,'" said Hobbs.
Hobbs survived D-Day, and he came to the festival to share stories of those who didn't.
"He died in my arms. He was a little Polak boy from up in Connecticut named James Cosman, and to me he was one of the bravest men," said Hobbs.
"The guts and the courage it took to leave those boats and hit that beach and we honor those guys," said WWII re-enactor Stacy Brogden.
Re-enactors like Brogden gave visitors a glimpse into the past. And seeing men like Brogden in uniform is dejavu for World War II vet Hayden Furrow.
"I turned 18 in July, in November I got the letter from the President saying my neighbors and friends had selected me for service," said Furrow.
Dozens of vets come to the festival every year. Furrow says they're doing their part to preserve the past. Whether they were armed or not, these heroes say they're lucky to be around to tell their tale.
"I must have been a good boy, because I turned 90 a month ago!" said Hobbs.
If you missed out on the festival, you have another chance next month. The D-Day Memorial is hosting an evening 1940s style concert Saturday Aug. 11 at 7 p.m.
Go here to watch the full interview with WWII vet Mills Hobbs: