70 Year D-Day Anniversary in Normandy, France
Cadets of the JROTC Wildcat Battalion of Fall Mountain Regional High School traveled to France this summer to take part in the 70 Year D-Day Anniversary, the commemoration of the start of the invasion of the Allied Forces to liberate Europe from German occupation during World War II.
On Thursday, June 5, the Fall Mountain cadets attended a ceremony at the American Brittany Cemetery in Saint James, France. It was their first time at a WW II cemetery.
On Friday, June 6, 2014, they marched in a celebratory D-Day parade in the little sea side town of Saint Mère-Église, the first town to be liberated by the American paratroopers on June 6, 1944. The reception of the French people and visitors from many other countries that were involved in liberating Europe, was overwhelming. The cadets of Fall Mountain marched with cadets from JROTCs from high schools all over the United States, a total of around 1,500 students. They were greeted with cheers and loud applause from the great crowd of some 15,000 people.
The next day, Saturday, June 7, 2014, was marked by a visit to Omaha Beach, one of the landing beaches in Normandy, France, and its enormous American cemetery. It was an emotional visit for the cadets as well as their teachers. The discovery of the rusty remains of one of the actual landing vessels on the beach made history very tangible for them.