(WSVN) - Today is the 80th anniversary of D-Day — marking the beginning of the end of World War II. It’s estimated less than 1% of the 16 million Americans who served in the conflict are still alive. 7s Karen Hensel introduces us to one South Florida veteran whose remarkable story includes his “Letter of a Lifetime.”

Danny Jacobson, WWII Army veteran: “My name is Daniel Jacobson. I was a regular sergeant in the infantry of the United States. The 45th division, the 179th infantry.”

Danny Jacobson was born on April 12, 1919. To save you the math, that makes him 105 years old.

Danny Jacobson: “I was always competitive in my life. I’m small stature.”

What Danny lacks in height, he more than makes up for in heart.

Karen: “You’re a fighter.”

Danny Jacobson: “Yes, to this day.”

Karen: “What do you mean you’re a fighter to this day?”

Danny Jacobson: “I won’t let anybody take advantage of me or anybody around me.”

So perhaps it’s fitting that near the end of WWII, Sergeant Jacobson’s unit helped liberate Dachau, a Nazi concentration camp.

Danny Jacobson: “It was difficult. You thought, ‘Look at all the people that went in there that didn’t come out alive.'”

Just six days after Hitler committed suicide, Danny and his fellow soldiers set up headquarters inside the dictator’s Munich, Germany apartment.

Danny Jacobson: “They took everything they could.”

But what was left behind, has now become this Jewish veteran’s lasting legacy of defiance in the face of evil.

Danny Jacobson: “I picked it up and looked at it and to myself. I used a little profanity, it wasn’t loud. I said ‘Blah blah blah blah. I got your stationery, you –‘”

On Hitler’s personal stationery, then 26-year-old Danny wrote a letter to his wife, Julia, dated May 6, 1945: “Dearest Julia, and so, Hitler’s treasured stationery has come to this.”

Danny Jacobson: “Hitler would turn in his grave if he knew a Jew was writing on his stationery. I expressed my feelings on it.”

Karen: “Almost 80 years later, you light up, and I think you still get a kick out of it.”

Danny Jacobson: “Oh, I still do. Oh yeah.”

Karen: “And you wrote the letter sitting…”

Danny Jacobson: “Sitting in one of his chairs.”

Karen: “And when you got home from the war, did you think about that letter?”

Danny Jacobson: “No, I mailed it and forgot about it. It was forgotten.”

But Danny’s late wife had saved the four-page letter. For about 50 years, it was in a box in a family attic and then a basement, before being rediscovered. Now, the letter, and a porcelain figurine Danny also took from Hitler’s apartment, are preserved at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Danny Jacobson: “We hated him. I mean, what he did to 6 million–more than that–people.”

From past atrocities, to today’s reality.

Danny Jacobson: “Right now, my thoughts are about the present.”

Karen: “Do you have a concern about the rise in antisemitism?”

Danny Jacobson: “Oh, very much so.”

As we spoke, Danny repeatedly brought up his fears about the fragility of our own democracy.

Danny Jacobson: “People don’t know what democracy means. They don’t know. I love America, believe me. And I hate to see what’s happening. I’ve lived to be 105 years old and I have seen it all.”

Born in Baltimore and raised in Oklahoma, Danny has lived in South Florida since the 1970s. In April, Danny celebrated his 105th birthday at Oakmonte Village of Davie.

The assisted living community is also where Holocaust survivor Eva Schultz had lived. She has since passed, but not before the two had a chance to meet.

Danny Jacobson: “And then she said, ‘I have to thank you for freeing me.’ And I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ She says, ‘Dachau.’ She said ‘I’m from Dachau.’ It made me feel so good.”

Sitting in his apartment with family, there are sweet moments and time to reminisce…

Danny Jacobson: “That’s when I had hair.”

…about a life well-lived. One built on service and sacrifice, and stamped in history for seemingly the simplest of things… a letter home.

Karen: “And I think you signed it, ‘Loving you forever sweetie.’ That’s pretty special.”

Danny Jacobson: “Yeah.”

Karen Hensel, 7News.

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