Tomorrow marks the 64th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion of Europe. To say it is an important day for.....well, the whole world, is an understatement. This day is one of the most pivotal moments in humanities entire history, it marks the begining of the end for a regime whose attrocities have been unparalelled in history.
I'd like to say thanks and farewell to my Uncle Norman Farrer, 28th division,My Uncle Oliver, 8th army air corps, and thanks to two men I'm proud to call friends, Jesse Oxendine, Company B of the 325th Glider Infantry,82nd Airborne, and Col Jim Moncrief, 9th armored infantry battalion, 6th armored division.
To celebrate the monumental gift we were all given, I will be participating in a WWII exhibit on Saturday at the Charlotte Museum of History. the Model club I belong to is putting on an exhibit of WWII armor, and a bunch of reenactors will be there, portraying American and British troops. The event will be brought to a close with a memorial service for the fallen. The Guest of honor is a wonderful man by the name of Jesse Oxendine (as fate would have it, I went to high school with his daughter), who was with the 325th Glider Infantry of the 82nd Airborne Division. On May 2, 1945, while advancing toward Berlin, his unit discovered what appeared to be a detention camp at Wobbelin, Germany. if you would like to read his story and see pictures of him, go to this link.
For those of you who have a direct link to the war, via Fathers, Brothers, Uncles, Cousins, Nephews,Grandfathers, etc, I urge you; ask them about their unit, where they were, and do it NOW. It is vital! We lose over 1,000 -ONE THOUSAND- WWII veterans a day!! we are down to 3 WWI veterans here in the states, and soon enough, that willbe the case with our WWII vets as well.
If thats not enough to compell you, try this sad fact on for size...Did you know that 40% of all High school graduates believe that the United States and Germany fought together against the Soviet Union!?!? In a 1993 Roper survey of American high school students 53 percent of high school students did not even know the meaning of the term Holocaust!! How can it be, that our children are this ignorant?
If your relative does not want to talk about the war, dont push it. You can understand why they dont want to recall specifics, but see if you can at least find out what unit he was with, so you can record it for posterities sake. One day your children will want to know, it really is important information, despite the fact that it might seem to the contrary right now.
The wonderful photo above of the 2nd Ranger Battalion taken on the morning of D-day came from a great site called:WWII in Color