Bayeux – At dinner this evening we met the Lander family from Austin, Tx. They are in Normandy this week with their patriarch, 91 yr old, Joel (Jody) R. Lander (82nd Airborne, 508 Reg.) who jumped out of a C-47 into the ink black night of June 5 – 6, 1944.
When I thanked him for all he has done for all of us, he replied with a twinkle in his eyes, “It was my pleasure.”
Sainte-Mere-Eglise (General drop zone of the 82nd Airborne) Jack Port, 93 yrs old, (4th Division – Utah Beach, D- Day) tells his stories to our paratroopers.
The journey continues!
D-Day, 6/6/15 – 71st Anniversary
Our French friend, YPO Vauclair, created this welcome sign for Jack Port at the house we rent every year. Here is Jack, a D-Day Veteran, standing next to the sign. He is 93 yrs old and is doing well.
My book now has a toe hold on the Continent!
The French people love the Doughboys!
The Galignani English Bookstore said they would start carrying it. Their address is: 224 Rue De Rivoli.
And the Hotel Des Invalides – Military History Bookstore said they would also carry it. This was Joanna Hurley’s idea – Thank you Joanna! They also said they would like me to give my presentation. Well OK – twist my arm!
The sign says, “The First English Bookstore Established on the Continent.”
Hotel Des Invalides
Not a bad first day! Over the Top!!
Look at this baby!!! Because it was an outdated model, they gave me a great deal – only $3 million. After all it is an old klunker! The new model has 1,400 HP but this one only has 800 HP. They are going to add 4 wheel drive and a ski rack and will deliver it in a few months. I thought it would be the perfect knock-around ski wagon!!
Check it out on the web. We were at the factory today and I just couldn’t say no.
The assassination set in motion a series of events that started the First World War. It was the spark that ignited the inferno.
Honoring the Doughboys
American Meuse- Argonne World War I Cemetery in Northeastern France. Fifteen thousand of America’s Heroes are buried here.
I was walking among the headstones two weeks ago when my eyes welled-up. I thought of the full life I have had with my family and friends. The joys of marriage, being a parent, and now a grandparent are experiences they were to never know. They gave their tomorrows so that we could have our todays .
American Montfaucon Monument (France) commemorates the American sacrifice in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, September 26 – November 11, 1918.
I visited Manfred’s grave today to pay my respects and placed a small American flag at the base of his cross. He was a man of peace.
Three years ago, almost to the day , I spent several hours with with Manfred. The meeting had been arranged by Helen Patton.
This evening I learned through friends of Jack Port’s, who live in Stuttgart, that the Stuttgart Airport is in the process of being renamed to the Manfred Rommel Airport. How perfect , how fitting!
Here is something different from all the grand D-Day ceremonies. To me, the story of the new cathedral bells represents the essence of the message coming out of Normandy.
These two bells were cast for the 70th Anniversary. In the foreground is the Hope Bell and the second is the Peace Bell. They will be lifted into the bell tower tomorrow.
Center – May Alm, 98 yrs, WWII Nurse, landed on Omaha Beach D-Day plus 23 and my friend, Jack Port, 92 yrs, D-Day Veteran of Utah Beach. They are surrounded by the USAF Fire Protection team that will support all of the USAF’s flights during the ceremonies.
It was a beautiful day for the ceremony. The brave Americans that are buried here died in British hospitals and those whose names are on the wall of the Missing were lost at sea.