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.

Classifieds 12/17/14

Girls fall to Greenwich in opener

A stingy defense was too much for Granville to overcome in season opener Friday night. Granville was held to seven […]

Girls compete with Cougars

The Whitehall girls’ basketball team (0-3) is still seeking its first win of the season. However, the girls stuck with […]

Boys’ hoops handed first loss

After leaping out to a 2-0 start, the Whitehall boys’ basketball team was grounded at North Warren, 65-43. To say […]

What are you drinking?

Whitehall water

By Dan King If you live in the Village of Whitehall, your drinking water is perfectly healthy. That’s what the […]

Dared by friends, she write a novel

Author

By Derek Liebig It started with a dare. A few years ago, Granville resident Michele Sargent was having lunch with […]

Town to host hearing on fire protection

By Derek Liebig The town board will hold a public hearing later this month on proposed contracts for fire protection […]

School board discusses data, expenses

By Dan King The Whitehall Board of Education examined test data Monday and the analysis revealed the district still has […]

Village sewer fund gets $600,000 more

By Dan King The Village of Whitehall has received another $600,000 to work on sanitary and storm sewer separation in […]

All-star game for Milletts

Millett goes to Allstar game

By Dan King Whitehall-native Justin Millett, offensive lineman for the Glens Falls Green Jackets, represented his team at the Minor […]

Boys hoops fall in season opener

Greenwich’s ability to hit the outside shot sunk Granville in its season opener Friday night. The Witches hit 11 3-pointers […]

Commercial farming being redefined

The Town of Granville is in the process of updating its Right-to-Farm Law so that is differentiates between commercial and […]