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  1. #1
    Hope is eternal
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    D-Day 73 years later

    http://www.rrstar.com/news/20170605/...akes-trip-back

    Remembering the storming of Normandy Beach 73 years ago today. Here is a story about a soldier that day who went back.
    The sky is falling! We are doomed!

  2. #2
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    I have been lucky enough to have visited the beaches and the surrounding battlefields several times and I honestly cannot spend enough time there. There were locations there that seemed like they were lost in time and had not changed much since the battles that had been fought there. And to this day, I am grateful to the Mayor of St. Mere Eglise, and to my sisters fluent French, who opened up town hall during lunch and gave me the run of the building unescorted, and allowed me to see the American Flag that had flown first in Naples and then flown over their town upon liberation day.

  3. #3
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by 2JAY View Post
    I have been lucky enough to have visited the beaches and the surrounding battlefields several times and I honestly cannot spend enough time there. There were locations there that seemed like they were lost in time and had not changed much since the battles that had been fought there. And to this day, I am grateful to the Mayor of St. Mere Eglise, and to my sisters fluent French, who opened up town hall during lunch and gave me the run of the building unescorted, and allowed me to see the American Flag that had flown first in Naples and then flown over their town upon liberation day.
    This is on my bucket list of places to visit.
    The sky is falling! We are doomed!

  4. #4
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by YankeePride1967 View Post
    This is on my bucket list of places to visit.
    What is really cool, especially if you are a history geek like me, is that if you look closely enough at some of the farms, you can still see where the community took the debris of the battle and made everyday use of it. Like a tank barrel being used as a drainspout, a halftrack door being used a gate to a pen, and even an actual bunker itself being used as a storage shed.

  5. #5
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by 2JAY View Post
    What is really cool, especially if you are a history geek like me, is that if you look closely enough at some of the farms, you can still see where the community took the debris of the battle and made everyday use of it. Like a tank barrel being used as a drainspout, a halftrack door being used a gate to a pen, and even an actual bunker itself being used as a storage shed.
    Wow. I am a big FDR buff and have visited his Presidential Home and Library a bunch of times. Anything WWII related is of interest to me.
    The sky is falling! We are doomed!

  6. #6
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Just a story about one soldier.........


    He had served in World War I, but then left the military. Harvard-educated, his political career included stints as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of Puerto Rico, and Governor-General of the Philippines. His business career included Vice President of Doubleday Books, and Chairman of the Board of American Express.


    But, when war was looming in 1940, he volunteered to return to uniform. By the time D-Day rolled around, he was 56, and a Brigadier General. He all but demanded that he participate in the invasion, despite needing a cane to walk. And he did, the only General to hit the beach, the oldest soldier to do so, and the only one who had a son ALSO participating in the invasion. His Division hit the beach, but a mile away from where they had anticipated. And he stood there on Utah Beach, directing his troops and devising a battle plan on the spot for the unexpected location. Under heavy fire, he moved between his clustered troops, directed their movements, and reassembled them beyond a seawall. His Division had among the lowest casualty rates of those on D-Day. He would eventually be awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery and leadership on that beach.


    Clearly, this was a man who could have watched World War II from the sidelines. He had already done his duty, and had the political and business connections to stay out of harm's way. But that's not who he was. His country was calling, and he felt it his absolute duty to answer that call. A month after D-Day, Omar Bradley recommended he be promoted for a second star, and command of the 90th Infantry Division. Before Eisenhower could sign the promotion order, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., died of a heart attack. He's buried in Normandy.


    Just one soldier. Obviously, one with a familiar name, from a powerful family. But it's a story of someone who voluntarily relinquished his political power and his riches to serve his country, and then served with bravery and distinction.


    There are 24,000 other stories about other soldiers on that day. Heroes, each and every one.

    "But what people tend to forget...is that being a Yankee is as much about character as it is about performance; as much about who you are as what you do."
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  7. #7
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    Just a story about one soldier.........


    He had served in World War I, but then left the military. Harvard-educated, his political career included stints as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of Puerto Rico, and Governor-General of the Philippines. His business career included Vice President of Doubleday Books, and Chairman of the Board of American Express.


    But, when war was looming in 1940, he volunteered to return to uniform. By the time D-Day rolled around, he was 56, and a Brigadier General. He all but demanded that he participate in the invasion, despite needing a cane to walk. And he did, the only General to hit the beach, the oldest soldier to do so, and the only one who had a son ALSO participating in the invasion. His Division hit the beach, but a mile away from where they had anticipated. And he stood there on Utah Beach, directing his troops and devising a battle plan on the spot for the unexpected location. Under heavy fire, he moved between his clustered troops, directed their movements, and reassembled them beyond a seawall. His Division had among the lowest casualty rates of those on D-Day. He would eventually be awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery and leadership on that beach.


    Clearly, this was a man who could have watched World War II from the sidelines. He had already done his duty, and had the political and business connections to stay out of harm's way. But that's not who he was. His country was calling, and he felt it his absolute duty to answer that call. A month after D-Day, Omar Bradley recommended he be promoted for a second star, and command of the 90th Infantry Division. Before Eisenhower could sign the promotion order, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., died of a heart attack. He's buried in Normandy.


    Just one soldier. Obviously, one with a familiar name, from a powerful family. But it's a story of someone who voluntarily relinquished his political power and his riches to serve his country, and then served with bravery and distinction.


    There are 24,000 other stories about other soldiers on that day. Heroes, each and every one.
    From my studies of the Roosevelts I thought that is where you were headed. Great story.
    The sky is falling! We are doomed!

  8. #8
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    That entire region of Normandy has not forgotten about what happened there 70+ years ago and it is amazing how that region has embraced that past. From how many monuments there are, to how well that they are preserved, to the almost monthly dedications, and to how they have incorporated the damage from those battles into their surrounding communities. From a destroyed church in Carpiquet that still stands, to walls in Villers-Bocage that still have tank shell strikes, to a small church that I visited near St.Mere Eglise that still had bloodstains in the pews of the church as it had been used as an aid station by the the 82nd Airborne, or an actual German Tiger tank still sitting in the bend of the road where it broke down during their retreat. It really is living history.

  9. #9

    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Great thread, Rick. Thanks for posting and remembering.

    My Dad and I visited Normandy before he passed some 10 yrs. ago. He was part of the Northern African Theater and was captured in Salerno, Italy. 26 months as a POW he wanted to take the trip from Normandy to Salerno. He remembered every last detail of the battle and being captured. He was wounded and the ambulance going back to the lines was shot up and the injured were captured. The POW's were transferred to Stalag 2B in Northern Germany. He didn't want to make that trip to Germany.
    It was on his bucket list and I am so thankful we made that trip. Something that stays with you forever.

  10. #10
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by BRenninger View Post
    Great thread, Rick. Thanks for posting and remembering.

    My Dad and I visited Normandy before he passed some 10 yrs. ago. He was part of the Northern African Theater and was captured in Salerno, Italy. 26 months as a POW he wanted to take the trip from Normandy to Salerno. He remembered every last detail of the battle and being captured. He was wounded and the ambulance going back to the lines was shot up and the injured were captured. The POW's were transferred to Stalag 2B in Northern Germany. He didn't want to make that trip to Germany.
    It was on his bucket list and I am so thankful we made that trip. Something that stays with you forever.


    Yogi Berra as a 19 year old was in the D Day invasion on a small support landing craft. His assignment was to load the artillery with shells to bombard the beach for support


    Andy
    Yogi is a National Treasure. Let's put him in a National Hall of Fame. The man has no peers.

  11. #11

    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by Nome View Post
    Yogi Berra as a 19 year old was in the D Day invasion on a small support landing craft. His assignment was to load the artillery with shells to bombard the beach for support


    Andy
    In Yogi's book he recalled being on the SL craft he shot down (by mistake) a British RAF pilot. They were able to rescue the non-injured pilot.
    Can't begin to imagine being 19 yrs. old and being in that horrific situation.

  12. #12
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by 2JAY View Post
    I have been lucky enough to have visited the beaches and the surrounding battlefields several times and I honestly cannot spend enough time there. There were locations there that seemed like they were lost in time and had not changed much since the battles that had been fought there. And to this day, I am grateful to the Mayor of St. Mere Eglise, and to my sisters fluent French, who opened up town hall during lunch and gave me the run of the building unescorted, and allowed me to see the American Flag that had flown first in Naples and then flown over their town upon liberation day.
    I saw most of that back in 1973 and still remember it vividly. I was also struck by the little kids playing on the concrete pillbox that was slowly sliding down the dune on Gold Beach. (They probably decided it was a hazard and got rid of it since then.) I liked the swords into plowshares vibe--kind of like looking at American soldiers playing golf on the course just below Bertchesgaden.

    That was back when Europeans, and especially the French, still remembered WWII and treated Americans with respect, especially if you spoke decent French. Not so much anymore.
    "Deep to left! Yastrzemski will not get it! It's a home run! A three-run homer by Bucky Dent! And the Yankees now lead by a score of 3-2!" - New York Yankees announcer Bill White (October 2, 1978)

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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by theDurk View Post
    I saw most of that back in 1973 and still remember it vividly. I was also struck by the little kids playing on the concrete pillbox that was slowly sliding down the dune on Gold Beach. (They probably decided it was a hazard and got rid of it since then.) I liked the swords into plowshares vibe--kind of like looking at American soldiers playing golf on the course just below Bertchesgaden.

    That was back when Europeans, and especially the French, still remembered WWII and treated Americans with respect, especially if you spoke decent French. Not so much anymore.
    The last time that I was there was in 98 and I cannot say enough nice things about how I was treated when they realized that I was American. I had two lunches bought for me, given several private tours of their property by the owners, and had a museum opened just so that I could walk through it. I am planning a trip back there next year, so that I can concentrate more on the inland battles, and I cannot wait.

  14. #14

    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    I'd love to visit someday.

  15. #15
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    This actual pic of one of the first landing craft was just posted by a friend on Facebook.
    I'd hate to be faced with that in front of me.

    "Deep to left! Yastrzemski will not get it! It's a home run! A three-run homer by Bucky Dent! And the Yankees now lead by a score of 3-2!" - New York Yankees announcer Bill White (October 2, 1978)

  16. #16
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by theDurk View Post
    This actual pic of one of the first landing craft was just posted by a friend on Facebook.
    I'd hate to be faced with that in front of me.

    I can't even fathom what was going through each of their minds as they left the boat.
    The sky is falling! We are doomed!

  17. #17
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Robert Capa, who was a photographer who landed in the initial assault, took 103 pictures but upon returning to England, an accident in the lab destroyed all but 11 of them. Today they are referred to as the Magnificient Eleven and the photo of the GI struggling in the surf is one of the most iconic images of D-Day.
    I can tell you from having actually walked Omaha Beach at 0600, it is difficult to believe the distance it is before you can find anything at all that resembles any cover, all the while under heavy fire, and that anyone could survive that. The other interesting aspect about the invasion beaches is that most of the German bunkers do not actually face the beaches itself. Rather they are slanted away from the ocean so that they can fire up and down only the exposed Beach itself. Thus interlocking the fields of fire with other positions and making it impossible to identify the bunker from the sea.

  18. #18

    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by jlw1980 View Post
    I'd love to visit someday.
    The American Cemetery at Omaha Beach is a pilgrimage you should make happen.
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  19. #19
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by theDurk View Post
    I saw most of that back in 1973 and still remember it vividly. I was also struck by the little kids playing on the concrete pillbox that was slowly sliding down the dune on Gold Beach. (They probably decided it was a hazard and got rid of it since then.) I liked the swords into plowshares vibe--kind of like looking at American soldiers playing golf on the course just below Bertchesgaden.

    That was back when Europeans, and especially the French, still remembered WWII and treated Americans with respect, especially if you spoke decent French. Not so much anymore.
    When did Americans deserve more respect than they were given by the French, and just for giggles, let's flip the script on that while we're at it: when will Americans stop belittling the French?
    "Be a voice, not an echo." - Albert Einstein

  20. #20

    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by fredgmuggs View Post
    The American Cemetery at Omaha Beach is a pilgrimage you should make happen.
    I definitely plan to do so. Hopefully it'll happen in the next 5 or 10 years.

  21. #21
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by ojo View Post
    When did Americans deserve more respect than they were given by the French, and just for giggles, let's flip the script on that while we're at it: when will Americans stop belittling the French?
    I never said the drop in respect was undeserved. Vietnam started it, and George Bush put respect for America into intensive care. Trump is pulling the plug.

    As to the last, don't look at me. I've lived in Paris and I'm a Francophile.
    "Deep to left! Yastrzemski will not get it! It's a home run! A three-run homer by Bucky Dent! And the Yankees now lead by a score of 3-2!" - New York Yankees announcer Bill White (October 2, 1978)

  22. #22
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by theDurk View Post
    I never said the drop in respect was undeserved. Vietnam started it, and George Bush put respect for America into intensive care. Trump is pulling the plug.

    As to the last, don't look at me. I've lived in Paris and I'm a Francophile.
    Thanks for clearing that up. I think what pisses Americans off about the French is they actually govern secularly, the way our own government was designed to function. In other words, they actually separate church from the state.
    "Be a voice, not an echo." - Albert Einstein

  23. #23
    time of my life ... ajra21's Avatar
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    my grandfather survived dunkirk and d-day.
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    who made the rain come; Seagulls sing your hearts away;
    'Cause while the sinners sin, the children play ...

  24. #24
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by ajra21 View Post
    my grandfather survived dunkirk and d-day.
    What British,Canadian or French unit was he with and was he with the same unit both times?

  25. #25
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    Re: D-Day 73 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by 2JAY View Post
    What British, Canadian or French unit was he with and was he with the same unit both times?
    simply put: i don't know. i'll ask my father the next chance i get. IIRC, he fought in africa for a short time too.

    he was a professional solider prior to the war with the british army. he only survived dunkirk because one of his good friends was 6'6" and therefore tall enough to keep my grandfather's head above water as they escaped the beach.
    Bring tea for the Tillerman; Steak for the son; Wine for the woman
    who made the rain come; Seagulls sing your hearts away;
    'Cause while the sinners sin, the children play ...

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