June 6 marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day. This weekend, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum will commemorate D-Day with two days of events. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with #DDay70.
And if you can’t make it to Abilene, you can explore National Archives documents and photographs in our special D-Day exhibit “D-Day and the Normandy Invasion,” now live on the Google Cultural Institute.
The “D-Day + 70 Years” commemorative weekend will kick off on Friday, June 6, with a Remembrance Ceremony and rifle salute. There will also tours with the Library staff and you can meet historical reenactors.
At 2 p.m., there will be a showing of The Ritchie Boys, a film about an elite unit comprised of Jewish refugees who returned to Europe as Allied soldiers. Afterwards, Guenther Stern, a former a Ritchie Boy, will give a talk on his experiences.
Stern was born in Hildesheim, Germany, in 1922. He was the only member of his family of five who escaped and emigrated to the United States in 1937. In 1942, after turning 18, Guenther, now called Guy, was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was sent to Camp Ritchie and became a POW interrogator. Two days after D-Day, he arrived in Germany to interrogate German prisoners. He later received the Bronze Star for his “method of mass interrogation.” After Germany’s … [ Read all ]
D-day conjures up all kinds of images: the thousands of boats making their way across the English Channel, the men leaping off the landing craft and wading ashore under heavy fire, and the dangers once they got onto the beach and headed for the cliffs.
It must have been terrifying to be part of the assault. In looking at images and video about D-day in the holdings of National Archives, I was not sure what choose for the today’s post. There is Eisenhower’s Order of the Day—and his handwritten note taking full responsibility in case the operation failed.
And the logistics of D-day are amazing and overwhelming as well. Over 160,000 Allied troops with 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft had to be coordinated and maneuvered across the English Channel to land on 50 miles of beach that was seeded with thousands of mines and other underwater obstacles and occupied by German soldiers in concrete bunkers on high cliffs.
In the end, I decided to highlight one photograph. The image above doesn’t have any guns or smoke, but it does show one person whose act of bravery was in assisting others during that long day.
The image above is from Record Group 112, Records of the Office of the Surgeon General (Army). The original caption reads “Private First Class Warren Capers recommended for Silver Star. … [ Read all ]