Almost like those who sat, and waited, and then left for the shores of Normandy in the overnight hours of June 6th, 1944, our North Texas D-Day veterans are now in full anticipation of tomorrow. Friday, June 6th. 70 years to the day. It will be an early day. With world leaders present, security is extremely tight. The American Cemetery in Colleville Sur Mer, where President Obama will address our men, and many others, has set out over 8,000 chairs. These men and all in attendance will be on hallowed ground. They will see all around them, the headstones of those who did not return. They will sit among 9,387 white stone crosses.
Doug Dunbar (@cbs11doug) June 05, 2014
The anticipation was evident today, as our boys made their way to Utah Beach. Utah, Omaha, all the beaches used, were given those code names as part of Operation Overlord. On Utah today, a poignant moment, when Navy LST man Robert Jagers, is pushed in his wheelchair, to the very edge of Utah beach. What makes this trip so very special to Mr. Jagers, is the person pushing his wheelchair. Every veteran on this trip has an escort. They sleep in the same room, and tend to the needs of our men all day, and all night. They all volunteer to do this. For Mr. Jagers, that escort, is his grandson Jeremy. It’s difficult to put into words, what it means for him to be able to share this trip back in time, with the grandson who will keep his story alive for his families coming generations.
As the anticipation for tomorrow builds, so too does the reality, that this is likely the last time. How many will be here in five years, when, and frankly if, the world comes together again to commemorate these heroes? The kind of ceremony they will see tomorrow may not be repeated again. Time will tell. So for our men, Alford, Blatnik, Brooks, Crawford, Dixon, Geary, Jagers, Knowles, Power, Sibley, and Spears, tomorrow will likely close this chapter of their lives, but thankfully, for trips like this one, organized by daughtersofww2.org, new memories have been made. Smiles have come, where only war once ruled.
We plan to broadcast live tomorrow, Friday, June 6th, from Normandy. I hope you can share details, and join us on CBS 11 News at 4, 5, 6 and 10 p.m. Then when I see you all on Monday, we’ll begin the five part series, Return to D-Day, at 10 p.m.
Goodnight, from Normandy.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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