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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Normandy, France

Please take a moment and remember the sacrifices America and the free world made to defeat Hitler.



Nancy and I started our tour of Normandy sites in the German Cemetery last September. We stayed in a flat in Bayeaux for four days to explore Normandy, after being in St. Petersburg Russia for a week. See here: Russia Day by Day

Some of these photo are from the internet to supplement my photos.:

This is the German Cemetery at Normandy (or one of them):

The man and woman statutes symbolize the parents of the soldiers buried in Le Cambe. The mound is a mass grave of unknowns











Angoville-au-Plain:

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These are the two Medics that received Silver Starts for establishing and operating the aide station on D Day.





The USA Aide Station in Angoville-au-Plain. French are very gracious and thankful as some note.

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Tributes in Angoville-au-Plain

Today across from the church, like so many villages in once ravaged Normandy, is a war memorial with two flags. One French and one American.

Unusually this memorial is not carved with a long list of dead; it is a celebration of lives saved.

‘In honour and in recognition of Robert E. Wright, Kenneth J. Moore. Medics 2nd Bn 501 PIR 101st Airborne Division. For humane and life saving care rendered to 80 combatants and a child in this church in June 1944.’

Inside the Church the shattered glass has been replaced, thanks to kind donations, and remembers the bravery of 101st Airborne Division. The windows illustrating parachutists, and of course an eagle, are unlike any we have seen before in a Normandy church.
The bloody scars of Angoville-au-Plain

All war leaves scars. Many can be hidden by time, some cannot.

The scars of Angoville-au-Plain are in the church. They are not the bullet holes or the windows showing soldiers and battle. They are the still blood-stained pews that served as hospital beds for 80 brutalised casualties of war.

It is impossible to calculate how many people, then and now, owe their lives to Kenneth and Robert’s bravery.

We do know that for their efforts in saving 80 lives under atrocious conditions, Kenneth and Robert were both awarded the Silver Star.


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This is one of the Memorials for the 101st AB, this at Brécourt Manor Assault apex. Easy Company of the 101st Airborne, under 1st Lt. Richard Winters overcame a superior force dug in emplacements. The engagement is still used in training small unit tactics with flanking maneuvers and covering fire. The emplacement had four 105 mm German Cannon aimed at Utah Beach, and were guarded by troops and machine guns. The assault is one of my favorites in Band of Brothers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brécourt_Manor_Assault

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Please note that some of the photos are mine, some are stock professional pics grabbed on the internet . I have also placed quotes around writing that is not mine.

I will back-fill from here, as we toured the villages and beaches of Normandy all day, ending our tour at the American Cemetery, in time to assemble at the flags for Taps. Listening to Taps at the end of a long emotional day brought everyone to tears.
 

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Thanks. Great photos.

My family and I always watch President Reagan's speech on June 6, 1984 on this day. Stirring words.


So sad to see so many of those brave vets gone home. Both of ours have. We will never forget.
 

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I was just watching this again, in case some have never seen it.

 

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My uncle was there with the 101st. They actually went in on the evening of June 5th.
 

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Another place to check out if you are stateside is the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA. My father (deceased 2002) was in WWII but not the D-Day operation but my family and I decided to visit the memorial on opening day. I'm very glad I made the trip. You can feel a difference in the air when you step into the memorial. You can actually feel this place is sacred. If you plan a trip next year to honor D-Day or WWII soldiers please consider the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford. You will not be disappointed.
 

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I'll always remember a sermon from pastor and WWII veteran who watched the invasion begin from a cargo ship waiting to drive his truck load of ammunition onto the beach. He said there is no time he'd ever felt closer to God than on that day.
When he returned home, he entered the seminary and then re-enlisted as a Chaplin during the Korean war.

We owe a great debt o of gratitude for what they did.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
We stopped at STE.-MÈR-EGLISE, France mid-morning. That village was immortalized in D Day with Red Buttons. See further below for more photos.


D-Day battle

The early landings, at about 0140 directly on the town, resulted in heavy casualties for the paratroopers. Some buildings in town were on fire that night, and they illuminated the sky, making easy targets of the descending men. Some were sucked into the fire. Many hanging from trees and utility poles were shot before they could cut loose.

A well-known incident involved paratrooper John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), whose parachute caught on the spire of the town church, and could only observe the fighting going on below. He hung there limply for two hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner. Steele later escaped from the Germans and rejoined his division when US troops of the 3rd Battalion, 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment attacked the village, capturing thirty Germans and killing another eleven. The incident was portrayed in the movie The Longest Day by actor Red Buttons.

Later that morning, about 0500, a force led by Lt. Colonel Edward C. Krause of the 505th PIR took the town with little resistance. Apparently the German garrison was confused and had retired for the rest of the night. However, heavy German counterattacks began later in the day and into the next. The lightly armed troops held the town until reinforced by tanks from nearby Utah Beach in the afternoon of 7 June.


The approach:

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This is a depiction of Steele and Red Buttons to make good photos and stories:

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This is the back, where Steele was actually caught:

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After being inland, where the AB landed and fought, we moved to the landing sites. My narrative may decline. They still just take my breath away.
 

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I was just watching this again, in case some have never seen it.

Thanks for sharing that OldChap. I watched all 7:25 seconds. Very moving indeed. I'll have a better day for watching that.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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The day started out somber enough in the German Le Cambe Cemetery, and continued. Low clouds scuttled across the horizon, some rain fell, but we didn't care. How could we.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I was just watching this again, in case some have never seen it.
WOW.

I had never seen that before.

It is really moving.

I temporarily lost Utah Beach. We actually started the landing sites at Utah, the Arrowmanches, then Omaha. My photos got out of order. That's my excuse. :rofl:

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When a government begins to murder its citizens, the time has come to kill those who govern. Too bad Germans didn't adhere to this most basic and fundamental truth when they had the chance.
 

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@Rock and Glock Thanks again...You have really brought the struggle in Normandy alive again. My father in law went ashore as a member of the 2nd Infantry Division on D+1 at Omaha Beach. He refused to speak of the horrors he witnessed and would not watch the movie "Saving Private Ryan". He was wounded 8 days later, the first of two times he was wounded. The only thing he would ever speak about was how cold he was during the Battle of The Bulge. I never tire of reading of his Division's exploits in Europe:

History - Second Indianhead Division Association

Surely The Greatest Generation.

Rock and Glock...I would vote in favor of making your posts in this thread a sticky that everyone may come and devote some time to remembering, or seeing firsthand, the sacrifices made for freedom. :35:
 

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I've been to the Memorial at Bedford. The spouses uncle was badly wounded in Normandy several days after the invasion. As a side note the Army wanted amphibious tractors for the D-Day landings that the Marine Corps were employing in the Pacific. The Army requirement would have taken the total production away from the Marines, thus the Senior Marine Corps leadership protested to such and extent that the Army didn't acquire amphibious tractors till later on which were employed to limited extent in crossing the Rhine river.
 

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I deliberately looked for recognition of this day, June 6 1944 and was really disappointed in how little I found. Too many are ignorant of what happened on this day and what happened the following years .I sometimes wonder where we are headed. I don't doubt for a moment that this was our greatest generation.
 

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I read the Peanuts cartoon online yesterday. It was a tribute to the Greatest Generation and D-Day. The first comment was, "That’s nice, but we already have Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day." There is very little hope for the future. :mad::mad:
 

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I've been to the Memorial at Bedford. The spouses uncle was badly wounded in Normandy several days after the invasion. As a side note the Army wanted amphibious tractors for the D-Day landings that the Marine Corps were employing in the Pacific. The Army requirement would have taken the total production away from the Marines, thus the Senior Marine Corps leadership protested to such and extent that the Army didn't acquire amphibious tractors till later on which were employed to limited extent in crossing the Rhine river.
But the army had (non-) floating Shermans!
 
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