06 June 2013

The Longest Day

Army troops wade ashore on "Omaha" beach, 6 June 1944. Photo: National Archives.

"You are about to embark upon the great crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you... I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle."

- General Dwight D. Eisenhower

On June 5, 2012, a cold and overcast day, John Perrozi walked between rows of white marble gravestone at the Normandy American Cemetery, on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach. He stopped at one cross and then another, paying his respects to several buddies who died fighting in Normandy. It was his first trip back since the war. As an 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper, Perozzi fought on D-Day with the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. During a June 3 ceremony at the La Fière drop zone, a battlefield near where Perozzi fought, he received France’s highest military medal, the Légion d'Honneur. Photo: Warrant Officer Patrick Brion, Belgian Armed Forces.

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