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Troops_300px-Into_the_Jaws_of_Death_23-0455M_editD-Day Remembrance
By: Paula Green 

You are about to embark upon the great crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you…I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle.” – General Eisenhower

        This past June marked a military milestone – the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France.  This was the largest seaborne invasion in history, and it was a significant turning point in the war.

        Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade.  More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft participated in the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Continental Europe. The cost in lives on D-Day was high. More than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded, but their sacrifice allowed more than 100,000 Soldiers to begin the trek across Europe, to defeat Adolf Hitler’s troops.

        This past Jun. 6th, there were numerous remembrances held.  Locally, thirty-four veterans gathered at the World War II Memorial in Beaver for a D-Day ceremony.  The event was hosted by Congressman Keith Rothfus, who handed out commendations to servicemen who risked their lives for our country.

       Nationally, there were prayerful vigils and wreath-laying ceremonies.  Internationally, all eyes were on Normandy, it was the place where many veterans visited.  This time, they didn’t storm the beaches; rather they paid reverence to their fallen comrades.  Some came from near others traveled great distances to return to this French coastline.

       The biggest travel story was that of 89 year-old British D-Day veteran, Bernard Jordan.  On Jun. 5, Jordan went missing from his nursing home on England’s south coast.   Turns out, he sneaked out, took a coach, and then a ferry as he made his way to Normandy.  Jordan, a Royal Navy veteran donned his war medals as he joined his former comrades in the remembrance of historical, pivotal event.

 

Bob Buckler

Bob Buckler

Bob Buckler Honored at the Gala of Champaign Aviation Museum
By: Paula Green

            Bob Buckler of Glenshaw was honored on Apr. 26, at the annual Gala of the Champaign Aviation Museum in Urbana, Ohio.  Buckler, who will be 90 in Aug., was one of three B-17 combat veterans so honored.  He enjoys reminiscing and telling stories of his time in “Glory Girl” as a Tail Gunner with Crew 65 – 562 Squadron, 388 Bomb Group of the 8th Army Air Corp flying out of England in 1943 & 1944. 

          The highlight for Bob, as 19/20 year old, was being asked to sign the escape hatch near the rear of the plane where he was positioned during action against German fighters during his 22 ½ missions over enemy territory.

          The museum is currently restructuring the WWII B-17 flying fortress called Champaign Lady.  The gala was held in the large hanger where the partially completed B-17 sits.  This event is the museum’s biggest fundraiser.