WWII vet to return to Normandy 70 years after D-Day

N ot many communities are lucky enough to have upward of 30 surviving World War II combat veterans, Whitehall is incredibly fortunate in this regard. Not only are these World War II veterans Whitehall residents, many of them are incredibly active members in the community, especially through the American Legion Post 83.
One such veteran is Army Second Division, Henry Gurney, who fought for this country over in Europe and was involved in ‘D-day’ in Normandy, France.
Former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, who was a general at the time, led a group of allied forces up the beaches of Normandy, which led to one of the most decisive allied victories of the war. This is the operation that has lived in the history textbooks as ‘D-day.’
June 6 marks the 70th anniversary of ‘D-day’ and Gurney will be returning to Normandy to honor this anniversary.
Gurney, who just last week served as Grand Marshal of Whitehall’s Memorial Day parade explained his reasons for returning to Normandy on the 70th anniversary of one of the most historic battles in not only American history, but World history.
“I usually go down to a service in Virginia, but I’ve been planning on going back over to Normandy for 70 years now” Gurney said, “I figured if I didn’t go this year, I was never going to make it over there”
Gurney, whose accolades include a Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts and a litany of other awards and medals, will be taking a two week tour of Europe, which will include France, Belgium and Germany.
Although many others may be going on this tour for sightseeing, the brunt of Gurney’s focus will be on returning to Omaha Beach in Normandy.
“There will be a service and remembrance right there on Omaha Beach on the sixth” Gurney stated.
‘D-day’ is now known as one of the most important and famous battles in history, students around the country learn of its importance when covering World War II in history class. However, It appears that “hindsight is 20/20,” because most of the soldiers of the time had no clue that this battle would become the spectacle it is today.
Gurney stated, “Oh no, I had no idea it would become this big.”

 

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

2014 Washington County Fair Guide

Classifieds 08/20/14

Fire Co. renews search for lost horn

By Dan King Thirty years ago a silver plated presentation horn was stolen from the Whitehall Fire Company and the […]

Town finalizes speed reduction proposal

By Dan King Back in July, the Town of Whitehall drafted a proposal to reduce the speed limits of a […]

Superintendent upset with test scores

Whitehall Central School District Superintendent Elizabeth Legault has been analyzing data and researching educational policy in an attempt to turn […]

Increase in traffic hasn’t led to increase in accidents at intersection

By Dan King The intersection of County Routes 18 and 21 in Whitehall has always been a difficult intersection for […]

Enerjazz to conclude concert series

Whitehall’s summer concert series will be coming to a close on Friday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. and to say […]

Cheerleading made an official sport

By Dan King After years of being a club sport and funding all expenditures on their own, Whitehall cheerleaders have […]

State says their own building has code violations

By Dan King New York State Canal Corporation recently stopped by the new location for Friends of the Washington County […]

Storefront undergoes rebirth

A storefront that has stood on West Main Street for more than 100 years has been given new life. When […]

W. Pawlet auction Thursday

The West Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department will host its annual auction this evening at the West Pawlet Firehouse, Route 153, […]

State orders town to monitor former landfill

The state has threatened to take legal action against the town if it doesn’t begin submitting monitoring reports of groundwater […]