Joseph Belilos, 95, of Hewlett, landed on Omaha Beach during D-Day invasion

Joseph Belilos believed that no moment was too small to show kindness toward a friend or neighbor. It was a philosophy shaped, in part, by his involvement in one of the biggest events in modern history — D-Day.

Belilos tried to enlist in the U.S. Army when he was 17, but he was turned away and had to wait for his 18th birthday. At 19, he was part of an infantry unit that landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, in the invasion that would mark the turning point for the Allied Forces in World War II.

“He was on Omaha Beach,” said daughter, Renee Shaw, 63, of Colorado. “To this day, he wouldn’t eat lamb or mutton because when he was on this ship (waiting to invade) that’s all they had.”

Belilos was reluctant to talk about that day, his family said.

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