The 70th anniversary of D-Day in World War II was June 6, 2014. Seventy years ago is when the USA and its allies went ashore at Normandy in France to defeat Hitler.
Most of those men who sacrificed so very much are no longer with us. Soon all these brave men will pass to another time and place. We must make sure that these men should never be forgotten. Their personal memories must be preserved.
Several organizations and authors have interviewed survivors to insure that we do not forget what they did and what they experienced. One author interviewed paratroopers, glider pilots, artillery men, medics, dog soldiers, and even a sailor who watched Rangers storming the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc.
The interviewees ranged in age from 88 to 93 and to a man, each had some deep stories to tell. Those landing on the beaches have burning memories of the great armada of ships and vessels in the avenging invasion of Normandy.
They remember the carnage of bodies on the beaches. One of them, George Pulakos described how he was kept on the beach to help recover bodies. He was kept there because he could swim. Heembers "We were stacking them like cord wood on the beach. For years I've carried horrific images in my head of all the bodies on the beach. They were stacked 4 and 5 feet high."
Fourteen of these warriors were interviewed. These interviews may be the last documented eyewitness's memories of the D-Invasion of World War II. Four died within less than two months of their interviews.
Eugene Meier was interviewed October 30, 2013; he died 17 days later on November 16, 2013 at age 90. Percy Scarborough was interviewed November 22, 2013; he died 25 days later on December 17, 2013 at age 88. Jack Carver was interviewed December 1, 2013; he died 38 days later on January 8, 2014 at age 90. Harold Powers was interviewed December 9, 2013; he died 23 days later on January 1, 2014 at age 92.
The interviewees related their memories beginning back in 1939. That was when the European war really started. That is when Germany invaded Poland forcing Britain and France to declare war on Germany.
Some of the interviews are so very visual that you could see the bodies floating in the waters at the beaches. You could see our soldiers falling in the hedgerows and roads of the country side. You could visualize our soldiers when they were captured and marched long distances in severe weather. You could almost hear the gunfire and smell the gunpowder. You could visualize the horrors of the German concentration camps.
We must always honor those who sacrificed so very much; we must never forget their memories.