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LIGHTNING PHOTOS: Community remembers D-Day

Marines Herb Spies, a Korea War veteran, and Bob Roubaud, a Pacific theater veteran of World War II, listen to Eisenhower's speech. Marines Herb Spies, a Korea War veteran, and Bob Roubaud, a Pacific theater veteran of World War II, listen to Eisenhower's speech.

Henderson County residents heard Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower famous D-Day message to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines about to embark on "a great crusade" — the Normandy invasion that would "bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world."

 

Those things that the commander of the Allied forces promised came to pass.

Henderson County honored the war dead and veterans who served on Friday with a flag presentation by the Henderson County Honor Guard, the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Henderson County Veterans Services Officer Mike Murdock, the National Anthem, performed by Skip Fendley; the broadcast of Eisenhower's speech, a closing prayer by Rabbi Phil Cohen, of  Agudas Israel Synagogue and the tolling of the Historic Courthouse bells seven times, marking seven decades that have passed since the day 160,000 Allied troops landed in Normandy.

"It was one of the largest military operations in the history of the world, and has become one of the most famous," Capt. John W. Turner, executive director of the Veterans Leadership Council of North Carolina, said in a D-Day message. "It was also deadly; before nightfall, some 2,500 American servicemen had died.
"D-Day was the day the tide of World War II changed. By June 7, 1944, it was clear, even through all the fog of war that enveloped the battlefields, that the operation was a success, and equally clear that Nazi domination of Europe could not be sustained. Within a week, the allies held a front a hundred miles long, and the march to Berlin had begun."