World War II Vets To Depart Mem Monday Morning To Commemorate D-Day
Friday, May 30, 2014
MEMPHIS, TN – In recognition of the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, the Forever Young Senior Veteran Wish Organization is sending 14 World War II veterans on a trip to France that will begin with a June 2 departure from the Memphis International Airport. The group is scheduled to arrive at 9 a.m. in the Delta ticketing area.
Nine veterans are from the Mid-South, while five veterans will join the group on its connecting flight in Detroit. They are coming from New York, Indiana, New Jersey, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Florida. Two are comrades of the Mid-South veterans.
“We have men who stormed the beaches in the Second Wave, men who commandeered a landing craft taking troops to the beaches, as well as men who went on to become prisoners of war,” said Diane Hight, Founder and President of Forever Young. “For many of these veterans, they never dreamed they would get the chance to return for such a monumental anniversary as the 70th anniversary. Ten of the 14 men will be returning for the first time since the war ended.”
On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany. More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foothold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high as more than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded, but more than 100,000 soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.
“We owe these veterans a debt that we can never repay,” said Scott Brockman, President and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. “It will be an honor to send them off Monday, and our staff will do their part to ensure that they have a positively ‘MEMorable’ travel experience.”
For information about the Forever Young Senior Wish Foundation and this 70th anniversary trip, visit http://foreveryoungseniorwish.org or call Diane Hight at (901) 299-7516.