Remembering the D-Day Landing At Normandy – June 6, 1944 (Part 1)

A year ago today I was privileged to be on the beaches of Normandy and in Sainte-Mère-Église for the ceremonies commemorating the 66th anniversary of the landing of the Allied forces on D-Day.  It was amazing to stand next to the men who fought to give freedom to others.  Men who risked everything to free an entire continent that was under the oppression and persecution of the Nazis.

Your sacrifice will never be forgotten.
Omaha Beach
Utah Beach
Looking out over the English Channel.

For some reason, due to Hollywood movies I suppose, I’d always envisioned Omaha, Utah, and Sword beach being relativity small.  I never thought that our soldiers had to, in some cases, run upwards of 200 yards across open sand.  Honestly, it was a miracle that we were able to take the beach at all.

(Click to see large photo)

For those men who did manage to make it across the beaches, they faced the challenge of breaching numerous layers of German defenses.  Even though Hitler had put most of his efforts into defending the coastline near Calais (about a 125 miles North East), the beaches of Normandy still formed a deadly obstacle for the American soldiers.

German defenses.
While under heavy enemy fire, the American soldiers had to push their way through the German defenses.

Unfortunately, many of our men paid with their lives.

Many paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Normandy cemetery is among the most beautiful and revered cemeteries in the world.

Honoring those who fell.
Reflecting on the cost of freedom.

The most moving thing for me during my visit to Normandy was learning of that the French have adopted fallen American solder’s headstones.  Almost immediately after the D-Day invasion of June 1944 – local families made sure that each soldier’s graves was  tented to.  That tradition has been handed down through the generations, and is continued to today.

These photos are candid pictures are of a French family paying their respects, and teaching the next generation to do the same.

French family.

They placed flowers and brought sand from Omaha beach for each boy to rub on the headstones they visited.

Showing appreciation is passed on to the next generation.

Posing briefly for a picture for the boys grandparents for a picture and moved on to honor another soldier.  I candidly observed this ritual repeated through out the afternoon.  Many other grateful French families were also there paying their respects to the men who paid the ultimate price for their freedom.

The young boys posing for a picture.
Your sacrifice will never be forgotten.

If the French will never forget the price of freedom, I pray that we as Americans we never will either.  I believe the iHistory Project: WW2 should be in every American high school.  So please, help spread the word by sharing this website with your local teachers, home school groups, and church groups.  Thank you.
The iHP: WW2 is important in keeping the relevance of defeating Hitler and the Axis powers so that history will not be repeated.
And remember to thank a veteran… they’re often disguised as a Wal-Mart greeters, volunteers, and grandparents.  For more information, visit the iHistory Project-WW2 or contact me directly at


D-Day Landing - June 6, 1941

Big announcement everyone!

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are delaying the submission dates until early Spring 2012.  We will be making more announcements and providing more details about the contest in August.  We will also be posting public domain B&W footage from World War II for you to use in your mini-documentary.

If you have already interviewed a WWII veteran, we ask for you patients during this additional waiting period.  Believe me, we have done everything possible to prevent a second delay.

This Monday, June 6th, marks the anniversary of the landing of the Allied forces at Normandy, France.  I hope you can make the time to thank a WWII veteran!

Remember to come back to our blog for more updates!  For more information, visit the I-History Project-WW2 or contact me directly at

“We had to clear the German snipers” D-day – (June 6, 1944)

Interviewing Claude Hobbs - D-Day veteran

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing an amazing gentleman and war hero, Claude Hobbs.  He was supposed to be in one of the first waves of men to land on the beaches of Normandy in the early morning of June 6, 1944, but his landing craft hit a mine while crossing the English channel, forcing the men to transfer to a different assault craft.  At 14:00 hours, he finally landed on Omaha beach.  Armed with a rifle and a handful of grenades, he and his men started clearing the beach of German snipers, allowing the Allies to begin bringing heavy equipment on shore to commence the liberation of Europe.

Hobbs, like many WWII veterans, is a humble man.  He was awarded numerous medals including a Bronze Star for action during the Battle of the Bulge.  He has also been nominated to receive our nation’s third highest honor, a Silver Star, yet he hasn’t gone to Washington DC to claim it.  Instead, his favorite thing is to volunteer at a local museum every Saturday and chat with other old timers.

Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer of Hobbs’ generation.  That is why I need your help to spread the word to your local high schools about the iHistory Project: WW2, so that this Fall hundreds and thousands of students around the country will begin interviewing WWII veteran on video.

To find out more about the iHistory Project’s YouTube competition and how you can help, please visit our website: or contact me directly at