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on Jun 6, 2014 in Aviation

“A Day I’ll Never Forget”

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Charlie was 22 when he made the jump on 6 June, 1944 into France. Part of the 101st, he had volunteered like most of his friends to be a paratrooper. The extra pay was attractive to them. I’ve not meet Charlie yet, we have a long distance friendship comprised of phone calls. When I asked about the jump that morning, Charlie simply said, “A day I’ll never forget.” Most of the paratroopers missed their drop zones that early morning and Charlie’s C-47 squad of 18 was no different. They came down in a grove of trees into a hail of bullets. When the sun rose, Charlie found he was the only one of his squad still alive. All his friends hung in their chute lines from the trees, dead.

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Now in their nineties, fewer and fewer of the surviving WWII vets are with us. Those who still are share their stories with a passion often with their eyes misting and a lump in their throat. Those kids changed the world and their stories and contributions must live on! On this day, take a moment to learn a little more about this important moment in time that has forever changed our world. And with that new knowledge, share it with someone expanding their world. And if you happen to meet a WWII vet, take a moment to listen to their story. It might just be you who ends up with the mist in your eyes, lump in your throat. And remember to say, thanks.