D-Day, 4th of July, bring emotional reflections to Crestview's Sister City

DDay 2014

Clockwise from top left, Anthony Brochard drives his 1944 Willys jeep through the farmland of Normandy where similar cars operated during the Allied landings 70 years before. French World War II reenactors stand before Anthony Brochard’s jeep in Sainte-Mère-Église. In the background, a dummy parachutist hangs from the church tower in honor of an American jumper who got ensnarled there during the D-Day landings. Dr. Marie-Thérèse Reed returns to a Norman village after a tour of Utah Beach in a GMC troop carrier named for her late husband.

ANTHONY BROCHARD / Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 12:15 PM.

NOIRMOUTIER, France — Anthony Brochard became emotional as he observed American World War II veterans who returned to the beaches they stormed 70 years earlier.

With America’s Independence Day approaching, Brochard realized that as the now-elderly men struggled through the surf under the withering fire of German guns seven decades before, they were bringing the Fourth of July’s spirit of freedom and liberty to his country.

Clad as G.I.s, Brochard and Jean-Paul Limagne, members of the Noirmoutier Historic Vehicles association, drove their restored U.S. Army vehicles on a 12-day odyssey between the past and the future.

“When I was approaching the landing beaches wearing my U.S. uniform, I was so emotional and excited to be in this great and wonderful experience,” Brochard said. “It was just for them— the boys, our liberators.”

RAMPANT EMOTIONS

While Brochard drove his 1944 Willys jeep, Limagne drove his GMC troop carrier truck, christened in honor of U.S. Quartermaster Corps Capt. William A. Reed.

Reed’s widow, Franco-American Dr. Marie-Thérèse Reed, one of the founders of Noirmoutier’s 19-year Sister City relationship with Crestview, was also in Normandy in June.



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