Sunday, June 6, 2010

Remember D-Day

It's the 66th anniversary of D-Day today but you wouldn't know it by looking at the front of my local paper.  Not a single mention.  Online, I looked at the New York Times site, nothing.  Checked Fox - nope.  Have we become complacent?  Is it too soon after Memorial Day to pay tribute once again to those soldiers of WWII who made such sacrifices for our freedom?

I surfed on over to History.com and found what I was looking for.  Here you can find veteran's stories, videos and interactive maps.

I've written before about Greenwood Cemetery here in Shreveport.  It's not far from my house and Steve and I visit there occasionally because there's a huge veteran's section; plus, I have some family buried there.  One day a few weeks ago we decided it had been a while since we'd gone through there so we pulled in, got out of the car and started walking through the veterans section reading headstones.

The veterans buried there are from the Spanish American war on up to current times.  I've mentioned before, we found several with "Purple Heart" notations on their headstones.  I'm always curious about their stories.  Every one of those people buried there has a story.  I wish I knew them all.

I'm particularly interested in the Kelley (brothers?).  I posted on these two not long ago.  We stopped at these graves first because we noticed that they both had the same last name ("Oh how sad for this family to lose two sons in the same year!") and on closer inspection, Steve gasped and said, "Oh no!  He died on D-day!"

Bose F. Kelley died on D-day, June 6, 1944.  William G. Kelley, (his brother?) died on November 10, 1944.

I've tried to do some online research on them but come up pretty empty.  I found this:


...but I can't swear it's the same guy because the date of death isn't the same as what's on his stone.  I have found record of Bose F. Kelley here.  He was part of the 507 parachute infantry regiment; their mission was to drop near Amfreville and "hold the La Fiere causeway in support of the 505th PIR."  They were to hold a defensive line between Gourbesville and Le-Hameau Renouf.  You can read about the mission here and here.  Here is one soldier's testimony of that day.  Here is the site of the son of one of the members of the 507th with pictures and information about that day.

I wish I knew the Kelley's stories.  They have surviving family here somewhere; somebody goes out there regularly and places flowers.  They are not forgotten.  I went to the cemetery this morning and left a flag for them both.  I'd have left one for every other veteran but Steve would give me the evil eye if he knew I was walking around that cemetery alone and unprotected.  

At any rate, today is D-Day and is another wonderful opportunity to pay tribute and remember.  Go here to read some stories of D-Day veterans.  Go to a cemetery and place a flag.  Hang out your own flag at your home.  Watch a rerun of Band of Brothers.  Visit a veteran's home.  But take time to remember.

Never forget.

Also:  Jules Crittenden has a D-Day post.

Added:  Hot Air has a post.

If you have a D-Day post, email me and I'll link it.

UpdateA Tulsa veteran shares his story.

Right in Florida had the same trouble I did finding any media coverage of the D-Day anniversary.  Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel?  C'mon.

The Other McCain has a D-Day post remembering the Bedford Boys.

My Bossier posts and links back.

SWAC Girl posts and links to a veteran's story from Chesterfield County, VA.

10 comments:

G. R. said...

I guess the meaning of this day was only worthy of the comic section for the Shreveport Slimes.

The Slimes publishes reruns of the "Peanuts" comic strip which was created by Charles Schulz. Charles Schulz was a member of the 20th Armor Division and served in combat during the latter part of the war in Europe. On the Anniversary of D-Day Mr. Schulz would publish a cartoon, or picture of a D-Day event, and placed Snoopy dressed as a soldier in it.

Today the photo was that of General Eisenhower talking to members of the 101st Airborne "Screaming Eagles".

Although it was in the comic section, I guess that's something.

Jim said...

Pat, that story about Bose Kelley that you put up for Memorial Day really got my attention. I would love to know his story, but doubt that we ever will. Thank you so much for calling him to our attention.
G. R. - since you mentioned it, I remember seeing those in Peanuts 'back in the day'.

Andy said...

Great post, Pat. Sad (as you noted) that so few truly understand the significance of what went on, and the unbelievable shared effort (those boys, their wives and children, their parents, etc.) our beloved nation gave to win that war.

Both wars, really. God rest each and every one...those that have left us, and those that soon will...what an amazing lot they were.

Bob Belvedere said...

Wonderful post, Pat. Thank you.

Linked in THE RIGHTEOUS RANT OF THE DAY at:
The Camp Of The Saints

My family Served said...

The Kelley's Bose Frank Kelley Jr. & William George Kelley are brothers... they are my great great uncles. They also have two more brothers Edgar Rew Kelley & Jack Richard Kelly. Jack is my great grandfather. He dropped the second "e" in our last name after his brothers died. The person that puts flowers on their tombstone is my great aunt. She's still living. I came across your site when I was doing research on Bose. Thanks.

Andy said...

Well...how cool is that, Pat?

Thanks for chiming in, My family Served!

Pat Austin said...

@Andy,
The internet is a wonderful thing sometimes! :D

Andy said...

Indeed!

Charles said...

I just ran across this post. My mom is Bose's widow. They did not have children. She married him when she was 18 and was widowed 2 years later on D-Day. She met my dad several years later. The sister's name that tends to the grave sights is Ruby. I wish I could think of the name of the magazine that did an article on the Kelley brothers, their sister and my mom. It was a local Shreveport / Bossier magazine.

Pat Austin said...

Charles,
Thanks for that information! I know that the Shreveport Times did an article on the Kelley boys in 1944 and I'm going to pull that up this week. I'm really interested in telling and preserving their story, especially as this is the 70th anniversary of D-Day this year. Please fell free to email me if you think of that magazine or have any more information on them. Seems like such a huge price that family paid...