This Thursday, June 6 will be the observance of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
The event will take place from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at Warriors Hall in Whitehurst Memorial Building, 201 Stillwell Blvd., Crestview. The program begins at 6 p.m. This event is free and sponsored by Mayor J.B. Whitten, the Crestview Area Sister City Program, and MGMR Strategic Solutions.
Before the program, visitors can browse the World War II displays that will be posted around the room. There will be a display about Noirmoutier, our sister city in France, as well as museum pieces from Tom Rice's collection. There will also be original movie posters from World War II films, World War II memorabilia from the Baker Block Museuml and authentic vehicles and field equipment from a personal collection.
The program will begin with Pastor Mark Broadhead, the chaplain for the Crestview Police Department, reciting President Franklin D. Roosevelt's D-Day Prayer.
The first-place D-Day essay contest winners, one from middle and one from high school, will be presented with their scholarship checks and read their essays. All contest winners will be recognized and receive their checks.
Whitten will give a short talk and then the documentary movie "Mother of Normandy" will be shown after an introduction by Mary Richard.
This movie will be the regional premiere of the hour-long documentary about Simone Renaud, the wife of the wartime mayor of Saint-Mére-Église, which was the first French town liberated by Allied forces. She welcomed the liberating American soldiers into the Renaud home and store, wrote to their families letting them know their sons were alive and safe, and also tended the graves of the men who didn't go home.
The D-Day observance is the first in Whitten's Cultural Series. After the documentary presentation, there will be snack foods available called "from then and now." It will feature snacks from today as well as the snacks that would have been eaten during World War II, as well as Spam.
An event of this type takes many local individuals and companies to help sponsor the food, historic photo enlargements and decor. The front of the hall will be decorated in a World War II motif and will include a segment of a "Normandy landing beach" and memorial crosses depicting the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, the center of the Omaha Beach landing area.
This promises to be an informative event. I hope to see you there and many thanks to all who contributed to make this event a success.
Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.