(Photo illustration by Task & Purpose)

East Aurora, New York native and World War II veteran Luciano "Louis" C. Graziano is believed to be the last living eyewitness to the formal surrender of Germany at the "Little Red Schoolhouse" in Reims, France.

Of that monumental moment in history on May 7, 1945, Graziano says that at the time he did not realize the gravity of it.

"I just took it as it came. I was 22. I didn't think too much about anything. I just did what I had to do," the now 96-year-old Army veteran said.

But as the years flew by, he came to understand the significance.

"I was honored to be in that room," Graziano wrote in his recently published book, A Patriot's Memoirs of World War II - Through My Eyes, Heart and Soul.

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A combat patrol advanced three miles north of Lucca (furthermost point occupied by American troops) to contact an enemy machine gun nest in September 1944 as part of the Italian Campaign (DoD/National Archives and Records Administration)

World War II Army veteran Milton Miller says he has never forgotten an act of cowardice by his platoon leader.

It happened in the Alban Hills south of Rome following the Allied Forces' amphibious invasion on the Italian beaches of Anzio in January 1944.

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