70th Anniversary D-Day Trip – June 2014
In June 2014, eight members of the Tucson Chapter participated in the commemorative events of the 70th Anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy, France.
We were honored to participate in the D-Day 70th Anniversary Memorial Parade in Sainte-Mère-Église, the first village liberated by American paratroopers on June 6, 1944, and to march down those same streets 70 years later to honor and commemorate all of our veterans and to let them know we will never forget their sacrifices.
DAR Tucson Chapter member
DAR Tucson Chapter member
The villages of Sainte-Mère-Église and Sainte-Marie-du-Mont have permanent memorials dedicated to the memory of the 82nd and 101st American paratroopers who landed in Normandy. They have since renamed their streets after Allied generals, including General Eisenhower, and preserved many WWII-era artifacts in the Musée Airborne in the center of Sainte-Mère-Église.
Celebrations and Commemorative Events
This event was recognized by numerous veterans associations, community organizations, and military and government officials, and provided participants and spectators an opportunity to salute those men and women who have sacrificed, and continue to sacrifice, for our nation.
In Sainte-Mère-Église, the first village liberated by the American paratroopers on D-Day, everyone is an American on June 6! Everywhere you look men and women are wearing American scarfs or shirts or carrying American flags, regardless of their nationality. Homes and shops are adorned with the American flag.
Lively parades, concerts, and commemoration events fill the village square which is surrounded by stands where sausages are grilled out in the open, of which the delicious smell fills the air. It is truly one of the best places in the world to be at that moment.
People from all over Europe congregate in Normandie for the D-Day festivities. Many people, both men and women, reenact various American WWII military units, set up military camps in various villages, and drive restored WWII military vehicles all over Normandie. There are so many military reenactors and vehicles that it is very easy to feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
The people of Normandie will never forget that terrible time when their beautiful land and people were under the tyrannical occupation of the Nazis, and they will never forget the night that our paratroopers rained down upon them from the skies and landed on the shores of their beaches to bring them liberty.
Village squares all over Normandie have been turned into monuments to the bravery and sacrifice of the Allied soldiers of World War II.
The high point for me was to stand on the steps of the church where my father had stood.
Our trip to the 70th Anniversary of D-Day was a trip of a lifetime. I was able to trace where my father was 70 years ago while in the Army.
The lovely sound of that song paying tribute to those who gave so much
was just more than one could bear without breaking down in tears.
We are deeply indebted to the men and women who gave so much,
and in some cases gave everything,
to end the tyrannical occupation of the Nazi regime.
We were grateful to have the opportunity to salute them in such a meaningful way.
Speech on French National Television
Our Daughters are front row and center above as Suzanne Galen gives her speech. Below is the full text from the speech given by Suzanne Galen with the NSDAR Tucson Chapter Daughters who attended the 70th Anniversary of D-Day in Sainte-Mère-Église on June 6, 2014, on French National Television. The Daughters also presented a symbolic gift of friendship and alliance from the Tucson Chapter to the Mayor of Sainte-Mère-Église.
We are from the Tucson, Arizona, Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. We are direct descendants from patriot soldiers who fought for American independence in the Revolutionary War from 1775-1783.
The Daughters of the American Revolution have always had a special affinity for the people of France because when our ancestral grandfathers were fighting and struggling for American independence, France became our first friends in the world and landed on the shores of America and came to the aid of the American patriots, our ancestral grandfathers, when our country needed your help the most.
One hundred sixty-six years later, on June 6, 1944, the United States was able to repay that favor with the help of these veterans who stand before you and thousands more, and landed on your shores and parachuted down from your skies to bring you supplies, arms and ammunition, and most importantly, under the command of General Dwight Eisenhower, brought troops and naval support to the people of France when you needed it the most to help you regain your country’s independence. Throughout the years since that time you have bestowed special honors upon our veterans, and we are grateful to you for your recognition of their service and sacrifice.
Our shared history has bonded our countries together and our friendship has endured for over 235 years and will continue to endure long into the future.
In honor of this friendship, the Tucson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution would like to present you, Mr. Mayor, and the town of Sainte-Mère-Église, with this symbolic gift, a replica of a Revolutionary War era tri-corn hat. General George Washington ordered the hats be adorned with a black and white ribbon to symbolize the friendship and alliance between France and the United States.
From the Daughters of the American Revolution, we want to thank the people of France and in particular the people of Normandie very much for treating our World War II veterans, whom we affectionately call our Greatest Generation, so well these past 70 years and for honoring their service and sacrifice in such meaningful ways.
In the press!
Pre-Trip Planning Meeting