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Old 5 June 2013, 11:56
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6 Jun 1944 "D-Day"

Lest We Forget:
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Last edited by agonyea; 22 July 2013 at 19:43.
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Old 5 June 2013, 12:08
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President Regan's speech at the 40th Anniversary of Operation Overlord or "D-Day" :


http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/reagan-d-day.htm



The History Place - Great Speeches Collection


Ronald Reagan - On the 40th Anniversary of D-Day

President Reagan speaking on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day at Pointe du Hoc, Normandy, France. 6/6/84.

Standing on the very spot on the northern coast of France where Allied soldiers had stormed ashore to liberate Europe from the yoke of Nazi tyranny, President Ronald Reagan spoke these words to an audience of D-Day veterans and world leaders. They were gathered at the site of the U.S. Ranger Monument at Pointe du Hoc. Following this speech, the President unveiled memorial plaques to the 2nd and 5th U.S. Army Ranger Battalions. The President and Mrs. Reagan then greeted each of the veterans. Other Allied countries represented at the ceremony by their heads of state and government were: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, King Olav V of Norway, King Baudouin I of Belgium, Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, and Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau of Canada.








We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For 4 long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but 40 years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers -- the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machineguns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After 2 days of fighting, only 90 could still bear arms.

Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.

These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.

Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your ``lives fought for life . . . and left the vivid air signed with your honor.''

I think I know what you may be thinking right now -- thinking ``we were just part of a bigger effort; everyone was brave that day.'' Well, everyone was. Do you remember the story of Bill Millin of the 51st Highlanders? Forty years ago today, British troops were pinned down near a bridge, waiting desperately for help. Suddenly, they heard the sound of bagpipes, and some thought they were dreaming. Well, they weren't. They looked up and saw Bill Millin with his bagpipes, leading the reinforcements and ignoring the smack of the bullets into the ground around him.

Lord Lovat was with him -- Lord Lovat of Scotland, who calmly announced when he got to the bridge, ``Sorry I'm a few minutes late,'' as if he'd been delayed by a traffic jam, when in truth he'd just come from the bloody fighting on Sword Beach, which he and his men had just taken.

There was the impossible valor of the Poles who threw themselves between the enemy and the rest of Europe as the invasion took hold, and the unsurpassed courage of the Canadians who had already seen the horrors of war on this coast. They knew what awaited them there, but they would not be deterred. And once they hit Juno Beach, they never looked back.

All of these men were part of a rollcall of honor with names that spoke of a pride as bright as the colors they bore: the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Poland's 24th Lancers, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Screaming Eagles, the Yeomen of England's armored divisions, the forces of Free France, the Coast Guard's ``Matchbox Fleet'' and you, the American Rangers.

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. They fought -- or felt in their hearts, though they couldn't know in fact, that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4 a.m., in Kansas they were kneeling on their porches and praying, and in Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell.

Something else helped the men of D-day: their rockhard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause. And so, the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer he told them: Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what we're about to do. Also that night, General Matthew Ridgway on his cot, listening in the darkness for the promise God made to Joshua: ``I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.''

These are the things that impelled them; these are the things that shaped the unity of the Allies.

When the war was over, there were lives to be rebuilt and governments to be returned to the people. There were nations to be reborn. Above all, there was a new peace to be assured. These were huge and daunting tasks. But the Allies summoned strength from the faith, belief, loyalty, and love of those who fell here. They rebuilt a new Europe together.

There was first a great reconciliation among those who had been enemies, all of whom had suffered so greatly. The United States did its part, creating the Marshall plan to help rebuild our allies and our former enemies. The Marshall plan led to the Atlantic alliance -- a great alliance that serves to this day as our shield for freedom, for prosperity, and for peace.

In spite of our great efforts and successes, not all that followed the end of the war was happy or planned. Some liberated countries were lost. The great sadness of this loss echoes down to our own time in the streets of Warsaw, Prague, and East Berlin. Soviet troops that came to the center of this continent did not leave when peace came. They're still there, uninvited, unwanted, unyielding, almost 40 years after the war. Because of this, allied forces still stand on this continent. Today, as 40 years ago, our armies are here for only one purpose -- to protect and defend democracy. The only territories we hold are memorials like this one and graveyards where our heroes rest.

We in America have learned bitter lessons from two World Wars: It is better to be here ready to protect the peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.

But we try always to be prepared for peace; prepared to deter aggression; prepared to negotiate the reduction of arms; and, yes, prepared to reach out again in the spirit of reconciliation. In truth, there is no reconciliation we would welcome more than a reconciliation with the Soviet Union, so, together, we can lessen the risks of war, now and forever.

It's fitting to remember here the great losses also suffered by the Russian people during World War II: 20 million perished, a terrible price that testifies to all the world the necessity of ending war. I tell you from my heart that we in the United States do not want war. We want to wipe from the face of the Earth the terrible weapons that man now has in his hands. And I tell you, we are ready to seize that beachhead. We look for some sign from the Soviet Union that they are willing to move forward, that they share our desire and love for peace, and that they will give up the ways of conquest. There must be a changing there that will allow us to turn our hope into action.

We will pray forever that some day that changing will come. But for now, particularly today, it is good and fitting to renew our commitment to each other, to our freedom, and to the alliance that protects it.

We are bound today by what bound us 40 years ago, the same loyalties, traditions, and beliefs. We're bound by reality. The strength of America's allies is vital to the United States, and the American security guarantee is essential to the continued freedom of Europe's democracies. We were with you then; we are with you now. Your hopes are our hopes, and your destiny is our destiny.

Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: ``I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.''

Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their value [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.

Thank you very much, and God bless you all.

President Ronald Reagan - June 6, 1984
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Last edited by agonyea; 22 July 2013 at 19:43.
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Old 6 June 2013, 10:32
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Looks like Rush Limbaugh visited some of the Normandy sites this year and hear is what He saw:



My D-Day Vacation

June 05, 2013



RUSH: I do want to tell you a couple things about my vacation. I had a couple of fascinating trips. I don't expect anybody to understand this. I really don't. I debated whether or not to even mention or make a big deal out of it. But we went places, Kathryn and I did, hoping that nobody would have ever heard of me. That, to us, was peace -- nobody caring who we were, where we were going, what we were saying, what we were doing -- and it happened. Nobody cared.

I can't tell you... You know how I always talk about these people or these young kids on all this social media. They're vomiting all their privacy, giving it all away and so forth. I tell them they're gonna regret it, this pursuit of fame. I can't tell you how liberating it was. I don't expect people to understand it, but I'm telling you: That alone made the trip. It wasn't until Sunday night (and even this was just for a brief moment) I was recognized by a reporter for Sky News in London.

He approached me, said, "You're a genius," shook my hand, gave me his card, and walked off. That was it. Outside of that, I mean, zip, zero, nada. It was absolutely worth it. But we went to France. We have the sixty-ninth anniversary of D-Day tomorrow, and we went to Omaha Beach. We went to the American Cemetery at Normandy, and we went to Pointe du Hoc. And I, by the way, I have been mistakenly mispronouncing that because of an error in which I had seen it published.



I've been calling it "Pw'on du Ho." It's "P'want," P-o-i-n-t-e, "Dew," d-u, "Hock," H-o-c. And I had heard a number of people pronounce it "Pw'on Du Ho." It's actually "P'want dew Hock." Pointe du 'oc. (The H is silent, just to be precise about it.) But it is about six miles due west of the center of where Omaha Beach was, and it is a "p'want." It's a point that juts out, and German guns were there, and they had to take those guns out as part of D-Day.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: So we stopped in three places, touring D-Day locations, and we just barely scratched the surface. The primary location, Omaha Beach, is where they do the annual anniversary celebrations, but Omaha Beach is huge. Then there was Juno Beach further down, and then Utah Beach. D-Day was a giant, giant act of great deception on the part of Eisenhower. The Germans were entirely faked out -- and it's a good thing, because even being faked out, D-Day was a deadly event.

I couldn't help while walking the beach at Omaha Beach... We went down to Pointe du Hoc, and gosh, the American Cemetery... I'd seen pictures. You have no idea. It's like most other things: You have no appreciation for it 'til you're really there. It's sobering, folks, and then it's 69 years ago. And the whole time we're walking the beach in these locations, I kept having a thought running around in my mind:

"How many Americans even know anymore outside of 'Saving Private Ryan'? How many would even be impressed, if you could take them there and show them the serene place that it is today and say, 'Guess what happened here 69 years ago. Try to envision 200,000 Americans in oceangoing craft storming this beach, climbing these hills with German gun encampments all over the place mowing 'em down.'"

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I can't tell you why, but the whole D-Day invasion, particularly Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc, have mesmerized me. I've been immersed in them, and I've learned so much just in the last number of years as celebrations have taken place, things I didn't know when I thought I knew it all. A grand act of deception. The Germans weren't sure where in Normandy, all along the northern coast of France, the Allied invasion was going to take place. They weren't sure when. It was a tremendous -- without getting into great detail in this, Eisenhower and his command had done a terrific job in deception building fake installations along the beach to indicate they were coming there, or training in fake locations.

The Germans even suspected that the invasion might hit Norway and not France. The deception was so good that the German commander Rommel wasn't even on site on D-Day. He was taking a couple days off. I think it was his anniversary. He was with his wife in Paris or back in Germany or something, and he had a phone call early in the morning, "Guess what, General? We're under assault here." And even with that act of deception, the number of Americans who were killed, Allied forces killed, is stunning. Two hundred thousand, part of the invasion all along the north coast of France, and its importance, that and the Battle of the Bulge, I mean, crucial to stopping what was happening in Europe and preserving Europe and the rest of the world for freedom.



But these Americans along Omaha, all the way down, Juno Beach, Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc, they were sitting ducks. German installations were high up on the hills. There were bombing runs. In the case of Pointe du Hoc, I think the 9th Army Air Force was launching bombing runs and the number of seagoing efforts to assist in the ground assault which was conducted by the Rangers 2nd Battalion.

Now, this was my first time at Pointe du Hoc. I'd been to this place in my mind but I'd never seen it other than in pictures. It's a hundred plus feet straight up. The Rangers land on the beach, ships launch ladders and other things on the sides of the cliff to assist the Rangers in climbing up. The Germans are shooting down on them, and the Rangers just kept going. Big guns, 155 millimeter guns were up there. They just kept climbing even as the Germans were mowing them down.

Now, one thing, the Germans, because of deception, thought that Utah Beach was gonna be the focus and they had moved many of the gun installations at Pointe du Hoc a mile west of Pointe du Hoc. They still had some guns but the big guns had been moved on the orders of Rommel. Interestingly, the Ranger rank-and-file landing on the beach and climbing the cliff, they were not told. The Ranger leadership knew that the guns had been moved, but the Ranger rank-and-file had not been told. It was part of motivation. They had to climb. They had to get that hill. They had to get those installations, whether the Germans were in them or not. They had to shut all that down, all the way up and down the beach. They had to secure that area. And they did. And in a couple of months they're into Paris and then the Germans are beaten back.



But to see it, folks, so pristine and peaceful now, and to see what these Americans did, climbing straight up those cliffs with ropes, makeshift ladders, with the Germans firing down on them, even though the bulk of the guns had been moved, there was still German small arms fire that was raining down on them, enough to kill them, and a lot were killed. That location I think was one of Ronald Reagan's greatest ever speeches as president, The Boys of Pointe du Hoc. He gave that speech on the fortieth anniversary of D-Day.

And then we went to the cemetery, the American cemetery at Normandy. This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen and it's one of the quietest, one of the most sobering places. Every tombstone, every cross is geometrically perfect, no matter what angle, no matter what line you view these crosses, they are in perfect alignment, no matter what angle. And they go on and on, there are 10,000 more. This week is the sixty-ninth anniversary. They'll do something big next year for the seventieth. But it's just another reminder for us about the greatness of the US military and the people. They're all volunteers back then, too. Not all, but quite a few. And the Rangers, equivalent of the Special Forces in their own way. You can't go there and have any knowledge at all of what happened to not be in awe of what happened, and you can't go there and not just be thankful.

And I'm telling you as you get older, at least for me, getting older, I become more and more in awe and in appreciation. The appreciation just increases and increases for what people did. And then you see the names on the crosses in the cemetery, and you see 18 to 28-year-olds, 10,000 of them. They used to be alive, 'til that day or the day of their death, it runs the gamut in that cemetery, but it's still quite a sobering thought. So I just wanted to share with you the really momentous time that it was. Omaha Beach is huge. And the entire beaches, Normandy, are huge, I mean, from the water line to the cliffs and so forth. So that was a large part. It was the whole day one day, and then the rest of the time we were in places where nobody knew who we were. It was awesome. Okay, thank you for indulging me in that. I love sharing these trips and these instances. You know me. I love sharing my passions.



RUSH: One other thing I should mention. Dawn pointed out, "You keep contradicting yourself. Is it Pointe du Hoc or Pointe du Hoc?" And turns out it's both. The elite French spelling point d-u-H-e-o. The Nordic pronunciation, the people that discovered the place, is Pointe du Hoc. So I was alternating pronunciations because both are correct; both are accepted. Now, that Ranger force that arrived at Pointe du Hoc/Pointe du Hoc. Sixty percent of those people were killed.

Sixty percent of the 2nd Ranger Battalion was killed. Even though the guns had been moved, they had to take that hill. Even though the big guns had been moved a mile west down toward Utah Beach, they had to take those hills. Because anybody sympathetic to the Germans could have occupied those installations and fired down on the beach. So 60% of the arriving force died. Sixty percent of the attack force of the Rangers was killed.

That speech that Reagan gave there on the fortieth anniversary where he met some survivors who were still alive back in the eighties, he kept talking about, "These are the Boys of Pointe du Hoc," or Pointe du Hoc. I forget how he pronounced it that day. But it was one of his best speeches. They had to take those hills. It was a crucial operation.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Andrew in Olney, Maryland, great to have you on the program. Hi, sir.

CALLER: Good afternoon. Thanks for taking my call.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: I was rather taken by your trip to Normandy. One thing I want to share with you is the fact that my wife had been stationed over there in '85 through '87, and we went up to Normandy in June of '86, and was really taken by the number of visitors, French, of all ages, who were visiting the cemetery at Omaha Beach. And in September of that year, in the middle of the week we were going through the First World War battlefield area near Verdun and came across the second largest American cemetery in France for the First World War veterans.

RUSH: You know, it's an interesting point that you make. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I've got my, as usual, dwindling clock. But there weren't a lot of people -- it was crowded, but not like it's gonna be this weekend as the actual anniversary date approaches. But there were a lot of French people, and it was something I was wondering about, how much appreciation remains, how much active appreciation or even thanks, and there were a lot of French people at the American cemetery. And others, too. It was very heartwarming, sobering at the same time visit. I appreciate the call.


RushLimbaugh.com - © 2013 Premiere Radio Networks. All Rights Reserved.
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Last edited by agonyea; 22 July 2013 at 19:43.
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Old 6 June 2013, 11:59
Stretch Stretch is offline
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I will not forget!!!

A link about one man, Great Uncle Kelso, who jumped in:

http://www.508pir.org/nott_notes/horne_k.htm
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Old 6 June 2013, 12:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
I will not forget!!!

A link about one man, Great Uncle Kelso, who jumped in:

http://www.508pir.org/nott_notes/horne_k.htm
WOW that is one hell of an Airborne haritage!

Thank you to all the great men who were scared shitless and went anyway! Whether hitting the beach or jumping that day you set the bar for those who came after you!

ALL THE WAY!
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Old 6 June 2013, 12:05
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"Well, millions of our GIs did return home from that war to build up our nations and enjoy life's sweet pleasures. But on this field, there are 9,386 who did not -33 pairs of brothers; a father and his son; 11 men from tiny Bedford, Virginia; and Corporal Frank Elliot, killed near these bluffs by a German shell on D-Day. They were the fathers we never knew, the uncles we never met, the friends who never returned, the heroes we can never repay. They gave us our world. And those simple sounds of freedom we hear today are their voices speaking to us across the years." -- Part of President Bill Clinton's 50th anniversary speech given June 6, 1944

God bless....
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Old 6 June 2013, 12:42
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Where do we get such men?

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Old 6 June 2013, 12:42
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Exactly 21 and 22 years later, my sisters were born...free (yes, today is both of their birthdays).

Thank you to the men and women who made that possible.
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Old 6 June 2013, 12:53
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'All The Way'!
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Old 6 June 2013, 14:34
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Thinking of my Grandpa today, PFC Joseph Milford Cupp, 325 Glider Infantry Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division. Gone but not forgotten, RIP
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Old 6 June 2013, 14:49
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May my use of liberty never be found unworthy by those who secured it with their blood.

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Old 6 June 2013, 14:42
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Just FYI for anyone visiting VA or on the Blue Ridge Park Way.

http://www.dday.org/

It is worth the visit and will take a couple hours. My wife and I visited last year and it is very moving.
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Old 6 June 2013, 16:25
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Thumbs up

On be half of El Rojo,

PFC Joseph Milford Cupp:

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Old 6 June 2013, 16:51
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To my high school English teacher, Mr. Wilson, who was right out of the TV show, The Paper Chase....you would have never known he had three jumps with the 82nd Airborne - all combat. I also learned that was "volunteered" for the Airborne...thought the Army wanted him to put chocks under airplanes or something. He was the first person from whom I learned that a shitload of soldiers died in a practice landing on England the week before - apparently, families didn't learn for years that their loved ones hadnt died on Normandy. His one practice jump was cancelled due to bad weather the same week.

To my high school math teacher who joined the Army as a mathematician, discovered many years after the war that he had unknowingly been working on calculations related to the Manhattan project. Then one day, the Army needed more men for D-Day so they took this entire unit of math geeks and ordered them into the Infantry. According to him, they begged for anything else to which they could use their low density skills - Air Corps, anything - with no joy. He landed on Normandy the day after D Day as an infantryman, fought all the way across France, and into Germany. None of his other friends from his math unit survived more a week on Normandy. He was the first one to tell me about the german 88s, the hedgerows, the horrible weather in Normandy after the landings, and later the Red Ball Express which was primarily staffed by Mexicans/Blacks.

Thanks to both of them. I don't know if either is still alive.
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Old 6 June 2013, 18:15
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Not often I agree with Rush, but, I do agree you can't appreciate it until you actually visit the Normandy beaches in person. These pics, all taken by me, are from my visit on June 6, 1984 and I had a great seat for the famous PDH speech.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Memorial Pointe du Hoc June 6 1984 001.jpg (29.6 KB, 236 views)
File Type: jpg Normandy -Omaha cemetery 001.jpg (29.5 KB, 235 views)
File Type: jpg Pointe du Hoc June 6 1984 001.jpg (24.6 KB, 235 views)
File Type: jpg Crosses at National Cemetary Normandy 001.jpg (32.6 KB, 235 views)
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Old 6 June 2013, 18:37
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Amazing men.

There's apparently dust in the air as I think about what they sacrificed.
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Old 6 June 2013, 19:04
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Truly the greatest generation. Thank you to all who served, suffered and sacrificed.
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Old 6 June 2013, 23:13
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Actor Jack Warden would have made the jump but broke an ankle on a practice jump.he fought later in the war
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Old 7 June 2013, 02:20
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Location: Saint-Mihiel American Cem.
Posts: 884
Everyone, you have one year to prepare for the 70th. The hotels are already filling up. If you want to go start thinking about it now.

Just a note.
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  #20  
Old 7 June 2013, 22:25
OutsideTheB OutsideTheB is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Northern Virginia
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