STATEWIDE – Monday marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, the last major German offensive of World War II and the bloodiest battle the United States has ever fought.
A 19-year-old Caribou native was one of the U.S. troops that helped fight along the Western Front.
Donald Collins, the father of Sen. Susan Collins, served with the 87th Infantry and was wounded twice during the historic battle.
“It was from my dad that I learned to honor and respect our veterans,” Susan Collins said at the Brewer High School Veteran’s Day gathering. “He earned two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge.”
After the war, Collins came home and used the G.I. Bill to attend the University of Maine where he met his wife.
He went on to raise six children, run the family business and serve his community.
He was a state senator, state representative and also served as the mayor of his hometown.
He died in March of 2018.
Collins also issued a statement on Monday saying, “On this 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, let us honor the sacrifices made by the thousands of Americans who perished in battle, those who survived but have since passed on, and those living today.”