Reports from Normandy: 70th Anniversary of D-Day
Private Napoleon Fortier, New Hampshire, killed 9-15-18
Private Harry R. Perkins, New Hampshire, killed 9-18-18
Army Corps Private Harry R. Perkins, New Hampshire, killed 9-18-18
At a D-Day Commemorative Air Jump with Army Secretary John McHugh
D-Day Commemorative Air Jump, Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 8, 2014
June 7, 2014: Today, the Congressional Delegation drove to the American Cemetery in Paris. The cemetery was started for those who died in WWI, and Americans killed in both world wars are buried there. Cross after cross reminds us of those who gave their all for others. Our trip leader, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, placed a wreath there, with Minority Leader Pelosi and WW2 veteran Congressman Ralph Hall assisting. It rained just as Taps was being played, and then stopped just as suddenly at the end. Our guide called the rain tears. I visited the graves of two NH soldiers: Private Harry R. Perkins, killed 9-18-18, and Private Napoleon Fortier, who died 9-15-18. I thought about what they gave up and about the sorrow their families endured, and silently thanked them all.
June 6, 2014: I was overwhelmed with pride and gratitude on the beaches of Normandy today. The world is forever indebted to the Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen who invaded this place 70 years ago. Their courage helped liberate France and save the world from Fascism. Their sacrifice must never be forgotten.
I’m extraordinarily grateful not only to these men but to all the men and women who lifted America and the Allied forces to victory over Hitler, including my father, a WWII Navy veteran whose ship was hit during the Allied invasion of Sicily. The Greatest Generation stands today and will forever stand as a beacon of freedom and liberty.
June 6, 2014 4:45 PM: One of many WWII heroes in attendance.
June 6, 2014 4:42 PM: Listening to a member of the Greatest Generation.
June 6, 2014: The Omaha Beach ceremony before the start.
June 6, 2014 3:46 PM: Omaha Beach, where President Obama and the French President spoke about the incredible sacrifice America's young men made for freedom.
June 6, 2014 2:24 PM: U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
June 6, 2014 11:00 AM: Honored to be with Representative Ralph Hall (R-TX), one of the two WWII heroes still serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.
June 6, 2014 10:44 AM: My dad was a WWII sailor, so I naturally wanted a picture with this hero!
June 6, 2014 9:12 AM: Entering area for the ceremony.
June 6, 2014: On bus by 3:30 am for 4-hour bus ride to Normandy. Keep thinking about the words of General Eisenhower to his forces just before the invasion: "The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you..." What incredible courage these men showed as they fought to free nations from fascism!
June 5, 2014 9:07 PM: Other highlights of first day: We received a briefing at the US Embassy and an overview on the Normandy invasion. Representative Ralph Hall, a WWII hero who represents Texas in Congress, received an award and multiple rounds of applause from French and Americans at a National Assembly ceremony. We were all proud!
June 5, 2014 4:40 PM: A proud day for these two WWII veterans.
June 5, 2014 12:42 PM: Attended a lovely ceremony at the National Assembly in Paris. President Claude Bartolone narrated the story of what happened at Normandy and presented awards to Americans who fought there. Very emotional, but vets were happy to be there and be recognized. One vet told me his daughter asked for $5,000 for airfare and within three days, donations topped $10,000. A grateful nation!