Senator LaRose welcomes WWII Veteran Colonel Bill Miller to the Senate

Yesterday State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Copley Township) welcomed decorated World War II veteran Bill Miller to the Ohio Statehouse to take part in the Governor's 36th Annual Holocaust Commemoration Program.

Speaking to a crowd gathered at the Ohio Holocaust and Liberators Memorial, Miller recounted his experience as a young soldier leading a mission to identify an unknown site outside Goethe, Germany: 

“I had the tank knock [the gate] down. When it fell, we were in a concentration camp. The guards had fled, but it was the most horrible thing I think I’ve ever seen. Bodies everywhere …. we stopped counting at 800 people. We found the gas chambers, the ovens."
“When somebody tells you that the Holocaust didn’t happen …. I stress to you I have seen these things. It did happen. I’m grateful for the opportunity to tell you my story, and I hope you will relay that story to some of your friends.”

Watch Colonel Miller's full remarks here.

"Like so many in the greater Akron community, I'm humbled to call Colonel Bill Miller a longtime friend and mentor," said LaRose, who introduced Miller at the Holocaust Commemoration Program. "From playing a heroic role in liberating Holocaust victims to faithfully serving our community for decades, his life is a model of selflessness and determination. He is the best among us."

"I've known Colonel Miller since I was three years old," added LaRose. "He was my Boy Scout leader during my most formative years and has been like a grandfather to me and so many other boys in his troop."

Ret. Army Colonel Bill Miller enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 as an undergraduate student at the University of Akron. While serving in the European Theater of operations in April 1945, he stormed the beach of Normandy on D-Day and led a small unit to liberate a concentration camp in the Buchenwald prison system. Miller was decorated for valor and received a Purple Heart for his service. 

Upon returning home from war, Miller finished his bachelor's degree and earned J.D. and L.L.B. degrees from Case Western Reserve School of Law. In 1958 he began a career in business as a life underwriter with the John Hancock Insurance Company. 

Miller has played an active leadership role in the greater Akron community for the past 70 years, serving as president of the Fairlawn Chamber of Commerce, Scoutmaster of Troop 380 in Montrose, president of the Optimist Club of Akron, member of the Akron Rotary and a leader in a number of other local clubs and organizations. 

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