Veterans

June 7, 2012

On anniversary of D-Day invasion, Army recognizes WWII vets in Nation’s Capital

Tags:
by C. Todd Lopez
Army News

Earnest F. Gloyna, a World War II veteran, meets with Walter W. Heline, also a World War II veteran, during a reception in their honor, in advance of a Twilight Tattoo ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., June 6, 2012. The event was held in conjunction with the 68th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, June 6, 1944.

The Army remembered the servicemen who took part in the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, which began 68 years ago, during World War II, at a reception in advance of a traditional Twilight Tattoo ceremony in Washington, D.C., June 6.

More than 150,000 troops participated in Operation Neptune, part of the larger Operation Overlord, which kicked off June 6, 1944. The date has now come to be referred to as “D-Day,” when Allied forces poured onto the beaches of Normandy, France, as part of an effort to wrest control of the country from German forces, who were already entrenched there.

“More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by days end, on June 6th, the Allies gained a foothold in Normandy,” said Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal, who hosted the event. “The D-Day cost was high, more than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed and wounded. But more than 100,000 soldiers began to march across Europe to defeat Hitler, and Nazi Germany.”

The Twilight Tattoo event is held during summer months on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., near the Pentagon. During the ceremonial event, the precision drill and discipline of Soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) is displayed along with music from the U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own.”

Attending the Twilight Tattoo event, Westphal said, would be thousands of spectators, mostly young people.

Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal spoke during a reception in advance of a Twilight Tattoo ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., June 6, 2012. The event was held in conjunction with the 68th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, June 6, 1944.

“It is important that they recognize that the freedoms they enjoy today are a result of the sacrifice of millions of people from all over the world that ensured their liberty,” said the secretary, referring to the World War II veterans the Twilight Tattoo was held to honor. “No greater act of bravery was ever carried out than that of millions of citizen Soldiers, and civilians, who faced and defeated tyranny and rebuilt this country and the world.”

Sen. Daniel Akaka, of Hawaii, and also a World War II veteran, attended the ceremony as well. The recognition bestowed upon he and his fellow veterans, he said, is important.

“It is important for the country to know that we sacrificed – and there are many heroic contributions that were made during World War II – to the point where we were able to stop tyranny and bring freedom not only to our country, but the world,” he said. “And today I look upon this as inspiring to the country.”

Akaka served in the Pacific theater in World War II, and he said that today’s soldiers are very much the same as those from 68 years ago.

“There is still the element of sacrifice for our country in our military personnel today,” he said. “And I would tell you that with all the knowledge and technology, they are able to help our country well.”

Earnest F. Gloyna started service in the Army in 1942, when he was just under 21 years old. He served mostly in the European theater and said he spent only two months of his active duty time in the United States. He served as part of the 820th Aviation Engineer unit, and participated in six campaigns, from Omaha Beach to Germany.

He was aboard a ship during the initial D-Day invasion, and arrived at Omaha Beach on “D plus 2.” But he said during the war, he and his unit were always near the front.

“Usually we were near the front line, sometimes we thought we were in the line,” he said.

Soldiers today “have very different equipment, but their spirit is the same,” Gloyna said. “They are equipped with very different equipment we thought would never come around.”

Back on Omaha Beach, he said, they looked for mines by poking the ground with a stick, for instance, something he thinks doesn’t happen today.

But now, he said, when soldiers prepare to go to war, it’s no different than when he and his fellow soldiers prepared for war.

“I don’t think it’s any different than what we did going into Omaha,” he said. “You’ve already gone through the experience of heavy training – training that is absolutely necessary. After that, it is a matter of doing the best you can – and the American soldier is probably better at that than anybody else.”

Among the veterans of World War II in attendance at the event were Sen. Daniel Akaka, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Albert Darago Jr., Walter Brown, Donald Collins, Louis Cunningham, David Bailey, Douglas Dillard, Robert Franke, James Ellicot, Tyson Hopkins, William Kracov, Bernard Resnick, Alfred Shehab, Myron Wollard, Dr. Earnest Gloyna, Fredrick Griswold and Walter Heline.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 27, 2015

News: U.S.-Turkey deal aims to create de facto ‘safe zone’ in northwest Syria – Turkey and the United States have agreed on the outlines of a de facto “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border under the terms of a deal that is expected to significantly increase the scope and pace of the U.S.-led air war against...
 
 

News Briefs July 27, 2015

Putin OKs maritime code calling for strong Atlantic presence Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a new version of the country’s maritime doctrine that calls for maintaining a strong Russian presence in the Atlantic Ocean amid concerns about NATO expansion. The doctrine, which covers naval, merchant marine and scientific maritime issues, also adds the Antarctic...
 
 
Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten

U.S., Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria train together at Rapid Trident 2015

Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten U.S. soldiers, of the 3rd Platoon, 615th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, react as they conduct reacting to contact training as part of their situational trai...
 

 
nasa-astronaut

Astronaut Stephen Frick retires from NASA

Astronaut Stephen Frick has retired from NASA to accept a position in the private sector. Frick, who flew as both a shuttle pilot and commander, left the Agency July 13. Steve has been a great asset to the astronaut office and ...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt

Estonian, US forces receive new jump wings

Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt Pvt. Kalmer Simohov, of Parnu, a volunteer with the Estonian Defense League, receives his U.S. Army Airborne wings following the joint airborne operations exercise at a drop zone in Nurm...
 
 

Lockheed Martin, StemRad studying first-responder radiation shield for potential deep-space application

StemRad, Ltd. and Lockheed Martin have initiated a joint research and development effort to determine if StemRad’s radiation shielding technology ñ originally designed for first-responders ñ could help to keep astronauts safe on deep-space exploration missions. This collaboration is part of Lockheed Martin’s ongoing effort to establish international partnerships for human explorat...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>