CONNEAUT OH – 8/17/2016 (PRESS RELEASE JET) — The largest gathering of WWII Veterans in the country are slated to attend the annual D-Day event in Conneaut Ohio, August 19th and 20th. Notable veterans include Hershel “Woody” Williams, one of the 6 remaining Medal of Honor recipients from WWII. Seven more veterans of WWII will be receiving the French Legion d’honneur citation at the events third annual “Salute to Veterans” ceremony slated for Saturday afternoon at 12:15.
Mr. Williams will be onsite representing the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation which honors and pays tribute to Gold Star Families that lost servicemen and women while serving in the armed forces. Mr. Williams earned his Medal of Honor for actions that took place on the Japanese Island of Iwo Jima as a flame-thrower operator. The foundation which bares his name and prestigious title organized in 2012 and operates on the core values of Courage, Sacrifice, Patriotism, Citizenship, Integrity and Commitment. Mr. Williams speaks at 10:30 AM Friday, August 19th.
The “Salute to Veterans” ceremony, of which Mr. Williams will be the final speaker, highlights veterans of WWII which fought for the liberation of France. French Consul General Vincent Floreani will present the French Legion d’honneur medals, a decree founded by Napoleon, to 3 veterans from Pennsylvania and 4 from Ohio; Lee Doehrel, Al Klugiewicz, Charlie Kizina, R. Keith Elliott, Bob Hannay, John Sudyk and Al “Buzz” Wagner. Former recipients of the Legion d’honneur will also be honored on stage along with current military, state and local officials. A march past of hundreds of reenactors in tribute to those attending will end the ceremony.
Following the ceremony, veterans and citizens alike will gather in the Veteran Hospitality Tent to listen to a remarkable lineup of WWII veteran speakers. Members of the 71st Infantry Division, William Jucksch and Earl Flanagan will tell about their discovery of the Gunskirchen Lager Death Camp, a starvation camp set up as the final destination of untold victims of Nazi oppression. Three of the liberated survivors of that camp will also be in attendance. One of the three, Mr. Simon Braitman will tell his story of survival. A similar speaking program will take place on Friday as well, at 1:30PM. This program will feature a number of WWII veterans whose topics will range from D-Day in Normandy to D-Day at Iwo Jima and places in between.
The reenactment, founded in 1999, enters its 17th year of holding a recreation of the Normandy landings. The event has grown in size to nearly 1800 living historians that portray British, Canadian, French, German, Polish and the United States plus various groups of home-front reenactors. Encampments are open for tours and the reenactors stage 4 unique mock battles featuring tanks, boats, planes and artillery. At 3PM on Saturday, the Lake Erie coastline provides a picture perfect backdrop to the most pivotal moment in 20th century history, the amphibious landings in Normandy on June 6th, 1944.
Witnessing this mammoth undertaking are 180+ WWII Veterans which have pre-registered to attend the 2016 event. The formal veteran recognition program, begun in 2011 has actually increased attendance despite the slipping sands of time. This could easily be the largest gathering of WWII veterans at any given place at any one time.
Complete program information about this FREE event in Conneaut Ohio can be found on the event web site at www.ddayohio.us . For more information about the Veterans Program contact Eric Montgomery, WWII Veteran Liaison, D-Day Conneaut. Gates open at 9 AM on each day, Friday the 19th and Saturday the 20th of August.
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Company Name: D-Day Conneaut dba D-Day Ohio Inc.
Contact Person: Eric Montgomery
Country: United States