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Special section: Remembering D-Day

HONOR FLIGHT

D-Day
Bruce R. Bennett

Thousands fete D-Day vets on trip to D.C. monuments, soldiers’ graves

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The buzz rippled through the crowd at the World War II Memorial.

Over there. Coming off buses. At the ramp.

People began to walk over. Some walked fast.

A rock star?

Nope. Just some old men in wheelchairs.

Heroes.

D-DAY REMEMBRANCE IN VIRGINIA

70 years later, Americans cheer boys of D-Day

The men sat quietly in the back of the crowd, under shade on a sun-splashed day in western Virginia, listening to the ceremonies honoring them. In the end, they were asked to stand and be recognized. Or just wave if they couldn’t stand. And so they did. And from the thousands gathered on the sprawling grounds of the National D-Day Memorial, the applause built.

»RELATED: South Florida vets of ‘Longest Day’ find cheers, tears on D-Day trip

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PALM BEACH COUNTY

A quiet resolve to support the troops

In Palm Beach County, the first public announcement that the D-Day invasion had begun was delivered in song.

Patriotic hymns began pealing from the bells of Bethesda-by-the-Sea Church in Palm Beach at 4:15 a.m. in a pre-arranged signal that troops had finally landed on French shores.

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THE ARMY RANGER

Martin Painkin

'You were scared stiff to move'

A child of the Bronx who joined the National Guard in the fall of 1940, when he was still 15 years old, Martin Painkin landed on Omaha Beach early on the morning of D-Day with the Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion.

THE GUNNER’S MATE

Lenny Scatturo

'Nobody learns anything'

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Lenny Scatturo was a 21-year-old gunner’s mate third class on the USS Ancon, flagship for the forces that landed on Omaha Beach. Today, at 91, he lives in West Palm Beach.


THE COUNTER INTELLIGENCE SERGEANT

Alexander Eckmann

‘A shock to see Americans floating face up’

A Long Island native, Alexander “Al” Eckmann was a sergeant in U.S. Army counterintelligence on D-Day. He was assigned to land on Utah Beach with the VII Corps of the Army.


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