Crestview Sister City participants commemorate World War II

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 05:49 PM.

Click here to see a photo gallery of Crestview's delegation exploring France

Niceville resident Don Bohler, a member of the Crestview group, had spent several months tracking down families of the B-17 crew and was rewarded when some of them joined the celebration.

They were honored guests during the ceremonial unveiling of a monument dedicated to the crew on the beach near the crash site.

"My wife and I were planning to vacation in Hawaii," said Richard Burton, son of tail gunner Harold Burton. "When we got Don's phone call, I told her, 'Hawaii can wait.'"

"Isn't it interesting that an event 70 years ago — that probably lasted less than an hour — has brought people together from different nations to keep the terrible memories of war alive and bring into perspective the value of peace and freedom?" said Gregg Stephenson, grandson of co-pilot Hubert Stephenson.

Noirmoutier’s classic vehicles club organized events on the beach and displayed their restored war-era Jeeps, troop trucks and civilian cars.

Their historic reenactment on the beach, scripted from actual wartime events, starred club members and some of the Crestview group's host families in authentic German, American, Free French and British uniforms, and civilian garb.

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