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D-Day Final Salute in Lynchburg, VA


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#1 Brig

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 03:32 PM

Lynchburg, Virginia is holding their last anniversary salute to the veterans of Normandy on June 6th, which will include period aircraft, reenactors, and a roll call to the surviving Normandy veterans in the area.

 

https://www.lynchbur...th-anniversary/

 

https://www.dday.org/75th/

 

 

I am looking at bring my Marines down there on a PME on 6 June, schedule and mission permitting


Edited by Brig, 16 April 2019 - 03:34 PM.


#2 Brig

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 04:21 PM

If anyone's attending...Vice President has been announced as the keynote speaker, so you can no longer walk up to the monument, but have to take a shuttle. Last shuttles are at 0915, unless the Memorial has reached capacity and they have to shut down early. Due to the VP, security has shot up and there's a long list of requirements and banned items on the memorial's website

 

I will be there with my Marines, assuming they don't meet capacity before we get there.



#3 RDUNE

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 05:28 AM

I had every intention of going again this year but this would be our first year taking a baby. The additional security, taking a shuttle, no shuttles out during the ceremony, navigating with a stroller, heat, etc just made the logistics impractical. I tried to circumvent all that a couple months ago by offering to set up a display of D-Day and local 29th division items (which I've done there in the past) and they turned me down flat. I believe it will be televised and/or live streamed so I'll watch it from home. Besides, no visit to the memorial will ever top the time I took my grandfather, a D-Day vet, and we essentially had the memorial to ourselves.



#4 Brig

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 04:07 AM

I'm told the place is filling quick...standing room only at 0700...we're still 30 minutes out, hoping it doesn't reach capacity beforehand

#5 Brig

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 05:06 AM

Have made it.

#6 Brig

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 06:17 PM

So...

 

I'm rather disappointed to report, that it was a bit of a cluster. Staff did not go about designated areas spectators could not be (clear walkways, etc) until 5 minutes before it started, despite it being open for over 3 hours before the ceremony, which resulted in a large amount of people being pushed into the walkways unable to get to an alternate screening area before the ceremony started. Several members of security were a mouthy bunch of overweight police officers who give the dedicated, hard working ones bad names. It seemed half the crowd was only there for the celebrity draw of the Vice President...as he spoke, people climbed all over the flower beds to catch a glimpse. Once he spoke, there was a bit of an exodus...before the roll call, remembrances and missing man formation.

 

Security and staff was completely useless at keeping the walkways clear, which impeded the WWII vets (over 100) for having easy access to their areas due to the crowding...and when the National Anthem was played and taps sounded, half the people in attendance were more concerned with taking photos with their smart phones than paying their respects. Honestly, it was an embarrassing display in front of the numerous foreign representatives there to pay their respects. I was also embarrassed by some of the behavior of the service members there as part of the details...walking while texting and drinking with sunglasses in dress uniforms, etc. I don't think the narrator even read the script prior to the start of ceremonies, it sounded rough with a lot of pauses and mistakes. The few reenactors running around hadn't bothered to shave, and seemed to be there looking for attention more than honoring the vets.

 

Leaving...well...there were no lines, and essentially it was a cattle herding center at each bus station.

 

However, it wasn't all bad. Obviously half of the memorial was closed off due to the VIPs, so I couldn't actually enjoy the memorial. However, there was quite a good series of aircraft flying over, some very good readings and tributes, and during the roll call all WWII vets were presented a cased medallion. The vets certainly seemed to appreciate that America still remembers, I just didn't appreciate how poorly citizens demonstrated their remembrance.

 

Quite honestly, it seemed like the event was poorly planned and executed...not at all fitting the 100+ veterans it was meant to honor.


Edited by Brig, 06 June 2019 - 06:39 PM.


#7 Thor996

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 06:40 PM



So...

 

I'm rather disappointed to report, that it was a bit of a cluster. Staff did not go about designated areas spectators could not be (clear walkways, etc) until 5 minutes before it started, despite it being open for over 3 hours before the ceremony, which resulted in a large amount of people being pushed into the walkways unable to get to an alternate screening area before the ceremony started. Several members of security were a mouthy bunch of overweight police officers who give the dedicated, hard working ones bad names. It seemed half the crowd was only there for the celebrity draw of the Vice President...as he spoke, people climbed all over the flower beds to catch a glimpse. Once he spoke, there was a bit of an exodus...before the roll call, remembrances and missing man formation.

 

Security and staff was completely useless at keeping the walkways clear, which impeded the WWII vets (over 100) for having easy access to their areas due to the crowding...and when the National Anthem was played and taps sounded, half the people in attendance were more concerned with taking photos with their smart phones than paying their respects. Honestly, it was an embarrassing display in front of the numerous foreign representatives there to pay their respects. I was also embarrassed by some of the behavior of the service members there as part of the details...walking while texting and drinking with sunglasses in dress uniforms, etc. I don't think the narrator even read the script prior to the start of ceremonies, it sounded rough with a lot of pauses and mistakes. The few reenactors running around hadn't bothered to shave, and seemed to be there looking for attention more than honoring the vets.

 

Leaving...well...there were no lines, and essentially it was a cattle herding center at each bus station.

 

However, it wasn't all bad. Obviously half of the memorial was closed off due to the VIPs, so I couldn't actually enjoy the memorial. However, there was quite a good series of aircraft flying over, some very good readings and tributes, and during the roll call all WWII vets were presented a cased medallion. The vets certainly seemed to appreciate that America still remembers, I just didn't appreciate how poorly they demonstrated their remembrance.

 

Quite honestly, it seemed like the event was poorly planned and executed...not at all fitting the 100+ veterans it was meant to honor.

 


Thanks for the report. Was hoping to go but couldn't get time off. Sad to hear other interests seemed to have trumped what should have been an honorable remembrance.  [no pun intended or political association with the word]



#8 B-17Guy

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 04:03 AM

Thanks for the report Brig, it looked pretty packed from the air and I’m sure it was hot.
On our side the event was very well organized with excellent support and professional ops.
We really had everything we needed.
I hope the flyovers looked good...especially the B-25 ;-)

John

#9 Brig

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 10:30 AM

Air show was probably the best executed portion. My Marines definitely enjoyed it. Good formations, good angles for those on the ground...if the narrator hadn't been stumbling over the script, they would have had perfect timing.

There was quite a few comments of awe and wonder from the kids around me when the B-25 flew over. No BS, that one really caught their attention

#10 B-17Guy

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 08:35 AM

Air show was probably the best executed portion. My Marines definitely enjoyed it. Good formations, good angles for those on the ground...if the narrator hadn't been stumbling over the script, they would have had perfect timing.

There was quite a few comments of awe and wonder from the kids around me when the B-25 flew over. No BS, that one really caught their attention


Thanks Brig, glad everyone looked good and the 25 was well received.
It was certainly an honor to take part in the ceremonies.

John

#11 Brig

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 03:23 PM

One of the few photos I took waiting for it to start...before we all got shoved out to the walkways. Shows the crowd. Once it started, I pocketed the phone because I don't want to be one of those guys who sees the world through a screen

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#12 B-17Guy

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 06:58 AM

Here was our view, taken by my crew chief.
My first comment to my crew was how incredibly packed with people it looked.

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#13 B-17Guy

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 07:01 AM

This shot was taken while we were holding to the south.

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Edited by B-17Guy, 09 June 2019 - 07:02 AM.


#14 B-17Guy

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 08:05 AM

In closing, it was great honor to be able to play a small part in such a large tribute.
The debt we owe the vets is enormous.
That day, we flew for them...

John

#15 Brig

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 09:21 AM

A few articles that cover, or at least touch on, the event...

 

https://www.washingt...m=.bd1348275a12

 

https://www.foxnews....ersary-of-d-day

 

https://www.wric.com...sary/2054864291

 

And the entire ceremony on video... https://www.facebook...28124377235587/




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