“In the years since World War II, it’s become one of those dates Americans pause to remember the conflicts,” said ranger Dan Vermilya with the Eisenhower National Historic Site.
On June 6, 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Allied Expeditionary Force embarked upon "The Great Crusade" as thousands of Allied troops landed in Normandy, France, beginning the liberation of Europe.
“There’s something dramatic about thousands of paratroopers jumping out of airplanes, something dramatic about thousands of infantry soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy; it’s the moment of beginning the liberation of a continent,” said Vermilya.
The walking tour of Gettysburg National Cemetery includes a few stops regarding the D-Day casualties and people who were killed in action during the Second World War, ranging from Pearl Harbor to Okinawa. Vermilya said there are 13 D-Day casualties in the Gettysburg National Cemetery.
“There’s a number of stories here that we’ll be focusing on,” said Vermlya. “One of them here is Joseph Fedish; he was from the Scranton, Pennsylvania, area, and before he enlisted in the U.S. Army he was a baker.”
Fedish served with the Fourth Infantry Division and died June 6, 1944. He was killed when his landing craft was coming towards Utah Beach, which was one of the two invasion beaches American soldiers landed at on the morning of D-Day.
The walking tour will meet at Taneytown Road entrance to Gettysburg National Cemetery and will last approximately 60 minutes. Following the program's conclusion, visitors are invited to stay for the evening One Hundred Nights of Taps program at 7 p.m. at the Soldiers National Monument in Gettysburg National Cemetery.
Over 6,000 men and women who served the United States in the Civil and Vietnam Wars are buried in the Gettysburg National Cemetery.
For more information about Eisenhower National Historic Site, click here.