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admin - Posted on 21 May 2009

Welcome to D-Day Remembrances, a site dedicated to current and past coverage of Operation Overlord, the invasion by Allied forces of occupied France, June 6, 1944. Here you will find recollections of the people who were there, stories of the times, and links to coverage of the 65th anniversary.

Milestones a time to remember debt to veterans
It’s frightening to think what life would be like today if it weren’t for people like William Ulwick of Abington, Bob Haley of Weymouth and Aram Bobigian, a Stoughton resident for five decades, who fought in Normandy on D-Day 65 years ago. Editorial

President singles out Plymouth veteran in D-Day speech at Omaha Beach
President Barack Obama singled out a few veterans for special mention in his D-Day remarks at the American cemetery at Normandy’s Omaha Beach, including Anthony Ruggiero of Plymouth. (See his story below.) Story and video

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ruggeiro.jpgAnthony Ruggiero, Plymouth:

 Blown out of his landing craft during the invasion, he survived two hours in the 42-degree water with enemy artillery exploding around him and went on to win four medals for liberating France. He is returning to France for his induction into the French Legion of Honor. Story and video

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garrison.jpgJames Garrison, Abington: When a ship is destroyed, Garrison recounted, the families of those on board receive a letter of missing in action. And so his family, back in Ohio, thought he was dead – until he showed up on their doorstep. "When I arrived, (my father) said, ‘What are you doing here! You’re supposed to be dead,’'' Garrison said. " ‘No, I said, I’m very much alive.’ " Garrison was aboard the USS Medusa at Pearl Harbor in Oahu and on the USS Meredith, one of  5,000  vessels  involved in the D-Day invasion. Dodging death, he would serve for more than 30 years as a Navy cook before retiring to Abington. As he nears his 90th birthday in January, Garrison’s recollections from his service – the good and the bad – remain sharp. “I remember just about everything,'' he said. Story and audio

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CurtoDespite sacrifices, WWII veterans say serving was worth it
Read what local veterans have to say about their experiences during the war.  Hear from Americo Curto of Rockland, a medic in the Battle of the Bulge, see his photos and watch an interview with Daniel Lyons of Quincy, who served on the USS Quincy during the invasion. Story, video and audio

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gio.jpgAmalio Giovanniello, Avon: “Before we landed, there was a chaplain who said to us, ‘Is there anybody here who has not had their Communion as of late?’ One guy got up and said, ‘Father, I was never baptized.’ The captain, said, ‘You see those flashes over there. Those are German machine guns firing at the boys in front of you. So you’ll be baptized pretty quick.’ " Amalio “Gio” Giovanniello was 22 when he boarded a troop ship on June 5, 1944, out of Southampton, England, bound for Europe. Although Gio, a corporal with the 1st U.S.  Army’s 115th Anti-aircraft Artillery, didn’t know his destination — he knew the purpose. Invasion. Story and video

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Walter HullWalter Hull, Avon: “Once the GIs started landing, they couldn’t get going. They were all beach-bound. Eventually a couple of guys got over, then five and then six, and then 25 and 150 were going over. And there were a lot of kids on the beach who are still there, believe me, a lot of them. I remember saying to myself, these kids  — and they were kids, we all were kids  —  went for a walk on the beach and spent eternity there.” Walter Hull, 84, of Avon was a second-class machinist aboard the destroyer USS Doyle DD-494 during the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. He had volunteered for military service at age 18. Story

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Ernest Wilbur, Avon: "To my left was a five-inch mortar gun and to my right was a rusting-out machine gun that the Germans had been using. We looked out to the sea and saw the USS Arkansas and the USS Texas and their support ships for the invasion.  There  were hundreds and hundreds of ships." Ernest Wilbur, an 87-year-old  Brockton resident who grew up in Avon, was a 20-year-old  second-class Navy corpsman aboard the USS Eleazar Wheelock  on June 6,  1944, D-Day.  On the ship were about 550  other men who would storm Omaha Beach. Story and video

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Aram Bobigian photoAram Bobigian, Stoughton: “Finally we made it to shore ... (My friend) was right beside me. Something hit him directly. It blew his leg right off. There was no way for anybody to stop the bleeding. He just bled. I tried as much as you could, there was nothing you could do. It all happened within seconds, but the memory of seeing his friend die on Omaha Beach would haunt Bobigian for decades. Bobigian, a former longtime Stoughton resident, was just 18 when he took part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France. As a member of the Army’s 1st Division, 16th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Company G, Bobigian took part in the first wave of the invasion.  Story

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Sherwin Grannum

Sherwin Grannum, Middleboro: “I’ll never forget it, it was scary ... you’re about to embark ... the unknown, that’s the thing about it. Most of those guys had never been in combat. And when they tell you some of you won’t be coming back...” Grannum played a trumpet on the beach at Normandy, after the Allies broke through the German battle line during the D-Day invasion. And for 65 years, he hasn’t forgotten that day. On June 6, 1944, Sherwin Grannum of Middleboro and his unit were part a ploy to fool the Germans into thinking the Allies were heading for a port. Story and video