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Veterans honored at VOA Museum’s 75th commemoration of D-Day landing
About 120 people attended the 75th anniversary commemoration of D-Day June 6 at the National VOA Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester.
The Rev. Jim Riehle, pastor at St. Maximilian-Kolbe Church, read from a sermon given by Catholic priest the Rev. Francis Sampson, who joined the war effort in 1941, and celebrated mass in a bombed-out chapel in Cherbourg, France, just days after D-Day.
Ohio Rep. George Lang (R-West Chester) described the humility of war veterans in general as he told the audience about finding his father’s war memorabilia stored in the attic as a young boy.
Bruce Jones, fiscal officer at West Chester Township, brought his father’s yellow cap to the event. The cap recognized the 17th Airborne Division, which consisted of paratroopers and infantrymen who landed in hundreds of gliders during Operation Varsity. Jones’ father, Second Lt. Charles H. Jones, was wounded twice and awarded a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Silver Star and a Distinguished Service Medal.
Veterans attending included members of VFW Post 7696, American Legion Post 681, and the West Chester Police Department.
“D-Day is a solemn day, but also an uplifting reminder of what our country can accomplish when we band together for a just cause,” said Jack Dominic, VOA museum director. “Although many of the soldiers who participated in D-Day are no longer with us, we want to commemorate their sacrifice—as well as the sacrifices of all veterans in all wars since then.”
Kehoe Financial Advisors sponsored the event, with donuts and coffee provided by Kroger and Cavu Coffee.
More than 425,000 Allied and German troops died during Operation Overlord, which occurred from the June 6, 1944 D-Day landing through August 30, 1944, when German troops retreated east across the Seine River. About 209,000 were estimated to be Allied troops.