D-Day 75 Anniversary, Lest We Forget......and Why


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On the flip side, my grandfather was in Nazi Slave labor camps since ‘41 and in concentration/relocation camps since ‘38. These brave men absolutely saved my grandfathers life, and therefore my family’s. My grandfather was sent to dachau to be executed in April ‘45, and was turned away because of the American advance. I have so much respect, admiration and love for these men, as they are the reason why I am living today! 

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6 hours ago, 99call said:

the greatest generation

I was lucky enough to have been surrounded by them when I grew up,also a lot of them were children who went through WW1,(my grandfather remembered seeing a zeppelin).

It was a pleasure to have lived amongst so many wise, kind, considerate, brave, fun,and articulate people.

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My Grandpa was an intelligence officer with the first division, tasked with going in early marking out the landing sites for the D-Day landings. Might have actually been a safer job than being in a landing craft really. He got shipped home to train officers before they made it to Paris but not before picking nearly every commendation short of the MoH, including a distinguished service cross for a capturing a Tiger that was attempting to flank his unit and a couple of POW camp escapes. He wrote up most of his experiences for the National War College but never really told stories about the War. People just knew, and every where I went with him people would regard him with this deep reverence.

25 years ago he took me along with him to tour France with the rest of the Big Red One vets for the 50th anniversary celebrations. For some reason he was the only one who brought a grand kid along, so I was the lone 11 year old on the tour bus feeling intensely out of place the whole time. Looking back I don't think I've ever seen Grandpa more at ease. Lots of jokes about how much more comfortable the sleeping arrangements were this time around. Every little town along the way was trying to one up next with their 'welcome back' celebrations. I discovered that punch sometimes has alcohol in it, it was a grand time. I realize now it was the only time I ever saw Grandpa with people who were his peers. Towards the end of the tour talk turned towards the prospects of doing it again. A few said they would come back on their own at some point, but nobody really thought they would be in traveling shape by the time the 75th rolled around, if indeed they were alive at all. At that point one of them looked over to me and smiled. "You'll be the only one around for the 100th".

Indeed, Grandpa is 98 now and in hospice, no shape to travel. Nobody really wanted leave him to go on their own either, but in another 25 years, I'll probably have to make the trip.

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