Honor & Respect (Normandy American Cemetery) – D-Day June 6 1944 – by Jeffrey Worthington & iHistory WW2 Video Contest

By: Jeffrey Worthington & iHistory WW2

Normandy

Three years ago today I was privileged to be on the beaches of Normandy for the ceremonies commemorating the 66th anniversary of the landing of the American and Allied forces on D-Day.  It was humbling to stand among 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 Nazi Germany.

One thing I will never forget at Normandy was seeing how respectful the French were by adopting the headstones of fallen American soldiers.  It was a tradition started  almost immediately after the D-Day invasion in June 1944 – local families made sure that each soldier’s grave near their village was tended to.  That tradition has been handed down through the generations, and is continued to today.

Normandy
These photos are candid pictures of a French family paying their respects to a fall soldier, and teaching the next generation to do the same.
Normandy
Traditionally French families tend the grave sites of soldiers who died fighting near their home or village.

The family brought small bags of sand from Omaha beach and had each boy rub the sand on the headstones they visited in order to view the solder’s names more clearly.  Then they placed flowers in front of the headstones and took a picture of the boys, before moving on to honor another fallen hero.

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Young boys posing briefly for a picture by the headstone of an American soldier.

I candidly observed this ritual being repeated throughout the afternoon.  Many other grateful French families were also there paying their respects to the men who paid the ultimate price for their freedom.

PFC Richard Kunkel, New York. Killed in action June 6, 1944.
Richard Kunkel (PFC, 501st Parachute Infantry Regt, 101st Airborne Division) of New York was killed in action June 6, 1944, in Colleville-sur-Mer, France. He was posthumous awarded a Purple Heart.

Since the French haven’t forgotten the price of their freedom, I pray that we as Americans  never will either.  Yet today, a growing percentage of youth lack basic knowledge about WWII or Hitler’s atrocities.  Help us change this by passing along the legacy of the Greatest Generation by spreading the word about the iHistory WW2 video contest for today’s junior high and high school students!

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And remember to thank a veteran… they’re often disguised as retired businessmen,  volunteers, Wal-Mart greeters, and great-grandparents.  For more information, visit the iHistory WW2 website or contact me directly at jeff@ihistoryproject.org

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UPDATE: iHistory Project is now officially a non-profit! – By Jeffrey Worthington & iHistory Project

By: Jeffrey Worthington & iHistory Project

Hey Everyone!

I’m very happy to announce that we recently received our 501c3 non-profit status!  We, at the Worthington Foundation are very excited for what this means in the coming months!  Thank you for your support over the years.   We started the iHistory Project back in 2009 and it has been quite a journey.

When we started the iHistory Project, in the Fall of 2009, we looked to partner with other non-profit organizations in order to save the time of having to file to become 501(c)(3) ourselves, but because of the economic down turn, most organizations were not taking on new projects.  So in June 2010, we hired a paralegal, who came highly recommended and whom we had worked with previously, to file our own 501(c)(3) application.  Unfortunately, he led us on a wild goose chase for 18 months.  He took our money and, to the best of our knowledge, he’s residing in Europe.  It was mid-2011 before we realized that he was not doing the work he had claimed.  This was confirmed a few months later when the IRS said that he had never contacted them on our behalf.  Needless to say, that was devastating news.

It took a few months for us to untangle the mess he left behind.  So, in January 2012, we again began the process of applying to become non-profit organization.  However, this time was with a reputable company, thus, we are glad to report that in October, 2012, we (the Worthington Foundation) finally received our 501(c)(3) non-profit status!

Preserve our World War II veterans’ history while bridging the generational gap with today’s youth.  Spread the word about the iHistory Project with your family, friends, and teachers, via Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Remember to download our flyer (Click Here)!

For more details on how to get your teens involved with our iHistory Project, go to our website: www.Heroes-WW2.org

Talk again soon.

Jeffrey Worthington

Worthington Foundation

Project Director (iHistory Project)

Remembering the D-Day Landing At Normandy – June 6, 1944 (Part 2)

Utah Beach, Normandy, France

“They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest—until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violence’s of war.”

Paratroopers reenacting the D-day jump on location just outside of Saint Mere Eglise, France (2010).

“For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.”  – President Franklin D. Roosevelt — June 6, 1944

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 jeff@ihistoryproject.org

What Do You Get When You Cross Old Crow With Bud? By Jeffrey Worthington, iHistory Project-WW2

What do you get when you cross Old Crow with Bud?  No, I’m not talking about the trade name for a particular bourbon Whiskey and I certainly don’t mean to conjure thoughts of a very popular brand of beer.  I’m talking about the plane, “Old Crow” and the pilot, Clarence, “Bud” Anderson.  Put them together and you get one of the most winning combinations of man and machine to take to the skies during World War 2.

Flying his P-51 Mustang, “Old Crow”, as part of the 357th Fighter Group of the Mighty Eighth Air Force,  Bud was part of a team that challenged the Luftwaffe’s supremacy and  ultimately dominated the skies over Europe. He earned the title Triple Ace, a title that recognizing that Bud shot down no fewer than 15 Axis aircraft while piloting not only a good fighter aircraft, but the one the History Channel, in its program on the top ten fighters of all time, called the best of the best.   Its speed and maneuverability are legendary and its extended range made it a long distance escort for bombers like the B-17 Flying Fortress whose missions deep into Nazi airspace would not have been possible without the P-51 and the men like Bud Anderson who so skillfully flew them.  Commenting on the Mustang’s contribution Bud noted:

“The airplane arrived in Europe at the precisely important time when the heavy bombers were taking such losses that they knew they had to have escort fighters that could go wherever the bombers could go. The arrival of the Mustang…meant we could go deep into Germany …The spring of 1944 is when historians agree we broke the back of the Luftwaffe…We overwhelmed them with 1,000 bomber raids with 1,000 – 1200 fighters, all at once, day after day.”  

So, if you combine Bud, the WW2 Triple Ace with Old Crow, his trusty P-51 Mustang, you get a winning combination that helped win the war over Europe!

You can learn more about Bud Anderson the P-51 Mustang and the Mighty Eighth Air Force by visiting Bud’s web site and the web site of the Mighty Eighth at www.mightyeighth.org/history.  
 

I hope you will support me (and hundreds of World War 2 enthusiasts and volunteers around the world) in challenging American teens across America, who are interested in military history, to participate in the iHistory Project-WW2.  We are committed to preserving these great World War 2 stories and memories and to bringing them to life so future generations will understand and appreciate the events of this conflict and how they shaped our world.

For more information, visit the I-History Project-WW2 or contact me directly at jeff@ihistoryproject.org.