D-Day, June 6, 1944. The 75th anniversary today reminds us of the heroic effort and sacrifice of soldiers, sailors, and Marines of the United States and its allies. Most older generations of Americans knew someone who took part, though their names are not widely known like those of General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. or Hall of Fame baseball catcher Yogi Berra.

Stanley Bergstein (1924-2011) was not in the first wave that landed on the shores of France but arrived a few days later and engaged in combat. He fought with the Army across France and Germany and was in the vicious Battle of the Bulge.

In all the years I knew the self-effacing Stan Bergstein and chatted with him on many occasions, I never once heard him mention D-Day or World War II, much less his military service.

Stan’s accomplishments in the horse-racing business are legendary and he was an early and vocal advocate of ridding the sport of drugs.

But for all his achievements in a Hall of Fame career, his most memorable and valuable contribution came as a 20-year-old soldier in a place far away from his birthplace in a poor coal-mining town in Pennsylvania.

Rest in peace, Stan. And thank you and so many other brave souls for fighting evil.

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