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Thank you, Ed Zilli, for your service to this country

The Minot community and this country lost one of the Greatest Generation with the passing on Thursday of Ed Zilli.

Zilli, of Minot, who celebrated his 100th birthday on Feb. 8, was a decorated World War II veteran and among a diminishing number of World War II veterans at the time of his death.

He was among several U.S. military veterans recently featured for Veterans Day in the Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 10-12, edition of The Minot Daily News.

Zilli’s military story goes back to 1944 when he and other military members of the 4th Infantry Division of Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, during the D-Day Invasion.

He recalled it didn’t take the many boats very long to cross the English Channel to Normandy and once they got there “all hell broke loose” as they pushed forward.

This was the largest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare when Zilli and thousands of other soldiers from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada landed on those beaches.

As they made their way across Europe, he and the other military members faced many battles, including the Battle of the Bulge, marking the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II.

For his World War II service, Zilli received five battle stars, including one for the Normandy Invasion.

He served 10 years in the U.S. Army. After his discharge following World War II, he decided to go back in again and was stationed in Germany. Then his next chapter of life was serving his community in another way – on the Suffolk County police force in New York for 25 years.

Zilli has been a resident of Minot for a number of years, moving here to be closer to family members.

Zilli and others have and are serving this country. They are important to our past and future because they help keep this country secure so we have the right to freedom.

Thank you, Ed Zilli, other war veterans and military veterans for your service and for being heroes.

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