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D-DAY 'S 60th anniversary memorial thread. Did you know someone

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Blue_Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 11:19 PM
Original message
D-DAY 'S 60th anniversary memorial thread. Did you know someone
who was in D-day if so who and what did they tell you about it?

I find this so interesting each year, 'cause my dad who died at 80 last year was in Normandy. He wasn't in the first wave, but the 2nd. For years I had no idea he had been in Normandy--that is until my older sister told me. At the time,(I was a teenager) I didn't appreciate nor really understand exactly what the impact of that day meant...so sad, 'cause all those years I felt like I took him for granted and it wasn't until I grew much older than I learned exactly what he went through. A few years before he died he opened up about some of it, but I could still see the anger in his eyes when he spoke...anger at so many of his buddies who died. Anger at the Germans and much anger when he spoke of the trials at Nuremberg.

Before he died he finally let me look inside his Army trunk (we were forbidden to look in them growing up) and wow, so much stuff. I kept most of it and now that he is gone, I look at it in such a different light.


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shraby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. My Father was at the Battle of the Bulge
and would never talk about the war until just recently. I'd ask now and then when growing up but always got a one line answer which never amounted to anything. Now bits and pieces are coming out and it was pretty grim.
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LTR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. My grandfather was in BOB as well
He said if he was at D-Day, he wouldn't have been alive. And neither would I.

He talked about the war in general terms, but never the bloodshed. Refused to ever see "Saving Private Ryan" to his dying day, claiming "I lived the movie, and have no desire to see it again."

Had a funny story about Patton calling him a 'son of a bitch'.
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Blue_Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. When I saw "Saving Private Ryan"
I didn't move for the first 20 minutes. All I thought about was if this is anything close to what they went through, then it was hell.

I told my dad about this movie and he said the same thing your grandfather did.
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Blue_Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. sounds familiar
my dad was the same way.
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alcuno Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
4. I used to live next store to a man who was badly injured on Omaha Beach.
He was a Romanian immigrant who felt such loyalty to this country that, married and age 32, he enlisted. He spent two years in a military hospital in Iowa and lived with shrapnel in his legs for over 50 years.

Mike was a great man.

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Blue_Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Wow...
this is such a humble generation...and they are dying by the 1000's daily.
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DAGDA56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
5. My dad was too young...did Korea, but a friend's father...
...was a paratrooper in the 101st dropped over France...he, like any true combat veteran, didn't like to talk about it...but he did like to drink, and one afternoon my buddy and I got him to talk about the invasion. It was a major SNAFU (Situation Normal, All Fucked Up) but he managed to land in "neutral" territory...he wasn't shot at while coming down...in short, it was hell...he killed alot of Germans, some of them younger than he was, and managed to get on thru the Battle of the Bulge without a scratch...one lucky SOB (his words).
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Blue_Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. My dad had a bunch of German
emblems and hat in his Army trunk as well as a book written in German which showed alot of pictures of Hitler. When I asked my dad about this he said he "oh I just picked it up off a dead German," and as for the book, he said he picked it up in a bombed bank in France. I still have this book and it smells musty like his trunk...
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harrison Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
9. A couple of stories. A friend's father was in the first wave on
Omaha, and was wounded. He lay on the beach almost the whole day; no one was able to help him. He survived.

Another man from Tenn. was in the first wave. He was a kind unassuming fellow, the antithesis of a GI. He went in the first wave. He said that the waves were so bad and that people were throwing up. He also said that they were loaded down with all kinds stuff. Some of the vessels couldn't get in very close, and so they opened the the doors and the guys piled out. Some didn't know how to swim, and so when they went out, they dropped and down, and drowned. He said that was hard to take.

My father was D Day plus 6 under Patton. He never would talk about it, but said that when you were marching through France and you looked up and saw these dead women and children piled up near a fence, it would just make you sick. He did the 48 hour forced march to relieve Bastogne. Covered about 100 miles in the snow. He said that the German 88's would come crashing in and explode in the trees above them and shrapnel and lethal sections of wood would come raining down.

By the way, my father can't stand Bush. Said the whole bunch reminds him of the Nazis with all their propaganda.
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Blue_Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. I heard the winters were brutle
my dad said he got pneumonia and that almost killed him.
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connecticut yankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
10. My uncle was in the OSS
He and several others parachuted behind the enemy lines a few weeks before D-Day.

Each knew only a few words, so if he was captured he wouldn't give anything away. But they got in touch with the Underground to deliver the news about the oncoming invasion.

He was secreted in a Farmhouse a few miles from Normandy until the invasion. The town, St. Mere, was the first liberated by the Allies.

Last month, I visited the Museum and Cemetery in Normandy. I walked through the rows of over 9,000 gravestones. Men 19, 20, 21 years old. And that old Peter, Paul and Mary song kept running through my head -- "when will they ever learn?"

They still haven't.

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Blue_Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. wow that is so
interesting. Even though my dad lived to tell about Normandy, I still would love to go to this site and see it for myself.
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GoldenOldie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-06-04 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. D-Day
Because I was watching the WWII Memorial dedication I was able to go to their wwiimemorial.com site and find information on a much loved uncle who was reported as missing in action in the summer of 1944. Although I was only 9-years old, when he left to play his role in WWII, I have never forgotten this handsome young man who never grew old in my memories. Through the WWII Memorial website, and searching other websites, I discovered that he was in the 977th Field Artillery and had died on August 15, 19444, while attempting to unload their equipment on the beaches of Normandy from the LST 282. It was only one of those ships in the area that was hit by a German smart bomb. What is so ironic in this tale is that my mother who was an orphan had found an older sister during this time and she had a son who we had never known until his return from the war, was also at Normandy. He had been at this same site and had witnessed the bombing of LST 282 and was able to tell my parents what happened. Being young I overheard the conversation and did not relate to the significance. Fortunately when I related my latest discoveries to my sister, she also remembered this story. Although my father was also serving in Italy during WWII, and I had sad times with his absence, this Memorial Day and the D-Day remembrances have brought special meaning to me.
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