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D-Day Program at Delaware Public Archives to Commemorate 70th Anniversary

Image Courtesy of Delaware Public Archives

Image Courtesy of Delaware Public Archives

The D-Day invasion of Normandy is remembered as an American triumph and the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany. On Saturday, June 7, 10:30 a.m. the Delaware Public Archives will commemorate the 70th anniversary of this pivotal day in American and World history with a special program at the Archives about the battle. This program will explore elements of the battle often left out of the narrative including the high level of risk and uncertainty faced by American officers and the sacrifices made by the troops on the blood-soaked beaches. How did these soldiers survive situations in which they had to sometimes offset the miscalculations of their superiors with their own raw courage? What was it like, on June 6, 1944, to ride the first troop transports onto the beaches, to land by parachute in the French countryside, or to have to wait in England to find out if the mission had succeeded or failed?

Join the Delaware Public Archives for this program and find out.

The program is free to the public. No reservations are required. For more information, contact Tom Summers (302) 744-5047 or e-mail

The Delaware Public Archives is located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard North in Dover. The Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Room is open to the public Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. On the second Saturday of every month the research room is open from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

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The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA Holds 70th Anniversary Event

Image Courtesy of The National D-Day Memorial

Image Courtesy of The National D-Day Memorial

Bedford, Virginia, the community who suffered the highest per capita D-Day losses and home of The National D-Day Memorial, will honor and remember D-Day veterans for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. If you are unable to make the morning service, you can watch it live online on

On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 ships and 11,000 aircraft supported the invasion, and by day’s end, the Allies gained a foot-hold in France. The D-Day cost was high with more than 9,000 Allied soldiers killed or wounded as the march across Europe to defeat Hitler began.

The National D-Day Memorial is place where veterans gather, share stories, and reflect on the high cost of freedom. Visitors may have the opportunity to shake the hands of veterans, and listen to their stories.

The Memorial will open at 7:30AM on Friday, June 6. Please see their website at for more information about satellite parking.

Program highlights include an honor guard, recognition of D-Day veterans, guest speakers, dignitaries including French, British and UK representatives, music, and more. Read more at
The commemoration begins with a morning ceremony featuring the laying of wreaths by D-Day units.

Other activities include:

* Veterans oral history stations
* A USO show featuring the 29th Division Band and a “Salute to Sinatra” at 1:30PM
* Reunion Tent
* Food vendors
* Displays by Living Historians
* Flyover including a P-51 and a C-47
* Parachute jump by the Golden Knights.

Friday, June 6th, 2014 ~ Outdoor Movie Night and Canteen

The public is invited to the Memorial for an outdoor movie night with a 1940s theme. The Canteen will offer the best of period refreshments and the featured film will be “Casablanca.” The film begins at dusk.

Saturday, June 7th, 2014 – 10AM ~ D-Day Parade

The community of Bedford will host a 1940s parade on the morning of June 7th. Antique cars, veterans, living historians, and more will parade through town. At 11am, a bell will toll marking the 19 from Bedford killed on June 6, 1944. Walking tours will be available for those interested in visiting some of the more famous Bedford Boys sites as mentioned in Alex Kershaw’s award winning book “The Bedford Boys: One American Town’s Ultimate Sacrifice.”

On Saturday, June 7th, 2014 at 7PM Tommy Dorsey Orchestra will perform at the Memorial. Advance tickets are on sale now for $25 per person! Get them at the National D-Day Memorial offices, the Center in the Square Box Office, or by calling 540-586-3329, M-F, 9-5. Read more:

There are a limited number of tickets available for pre-sale. Unless there is a threat of inclement weather, additional tickets will be sold for $30 at the door.

Sunday, June 8th – 11AM ~ Field Chapel Service

Conclude the 70th anniversary observance with an authentic WWII field chapel ecumenical service. A unique and moving experience. The service begins at 11am. Visit to learn more.

These events with the exclusion of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra are free to the public. Donations are appreciated. The Memorial is supported by contributions to the National D-Day Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization; it is not a National Park and does receive federal funding.

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Mid-Atlantic Air Museum’s World War II Weekend in Reading, PA

Image Courtesy of MAAM

Image Courtesy of MAAM

This weekend marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, or Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy. The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum offers an unparalleled way to commemorate the event by hosting their WWII Weekend.

For three days, June 6, 7 & 8, the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum presents more than 1,700 living history re-enactors, dozens of vintage WW II aircraft, hundreds of military vehicles, and thousands of period artifacts. 1944 comes alive for show-goers who witness skirmishes and battles at the recreated airfield and wander the sprawling military camp. There will be 40’s era dancing, singing, comedy skits, live radio broadcasts and theater at the ‘Home Front’. One of the nation’s largest militaria flea markets in the nation, with more than 150 vendors, will spread along the taxiway. Most important of all, the story of the greatest conflict in human history will be told by those who were there.

Image Courtesy of MAAM

Image Courtesy of MAAM

I attended the World War II Weekend several years ago, and was quite moved by the experience. You can read my travel features below.

The first is my account of flying on a C-47, The Black Sparrow, with Mike Ingrisano of McLean, VA. Mike flew into France as a radioman in a C-47 on D-Day.

The second story is my account of a Troop Carrier Command reunion held in DE in 2003, and gives the accounts of the C-47 flight crews.

To learn more about the WWII Weekend, visit: