May 8, 2012
Contact: Carol Hegeman
, 717-338-9114 Ext. 4411
On June 2 and 3, the National Park Service at the Eisenhower National Historic Site will commemorate the anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops, under the command of Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, landed on the beaches of Normandy, France. Almost derailed by high winds and rain, the invasion's launch in the early hours of June 6 was perhaps the most crucial decision made by Eisenhower during World War II. Special ranger programs, National Cemetery tours and a living history encampment throughout the weekend will offer a vivid reminder of the contributions made by Allied units and individual soldiers to the success of the undertaking.
A special interpretive program presented by park rangers, Eisenhower and the Men of D-Day , will remember the soldiers who landed on the beaches. Visitors will have an opportunity to learn about the D-Day invasion through a hands-on experience with equipment and uniforms. The program will be presented at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. It will also be presented daily during the summer season, mid June - mid August. This program was made possible by a grant from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Society.
A small living history encampment will also be set up at the Eisenhower Site. Visitors are welcome to stroll through the camps and talk informally with the living historians from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. U.S. Army infantry, paratroopers, tankers and artillerymen will be presented by the 9th Infantry Division Living History Association. The Combined Operations Living History Association will portray a British Commando unit. Another living history group will depict the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division.
On Sunday only, Licensed Battlefield Guide Ralph Siegel will conduct tours of the Soldiers' National Cemetery that focus on World War II soldiers buried there. Resting near the Civil War dead- and overlooked by many visitors - are 1,600 World War II veterans. Siegel's research on these World War II soldiers killed in action at Pearl Harbor, D-Day, the Malmedy Massacre and in other actions is the basis for the compelling stories he tells on the cemetery walk. The free tours will be presented at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 3. Visitors should park in the National Cemetery parking lot on Taneytown Road. The tour begins inside the Taneytown Road cemetery gate.
Eisenhower National Historic Site is open daily. All visits are via shuttle bus from the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center, 1195 Baltimore Pike in Gettysburg. Shuttles depart every half-hour from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekends and every hour on weekdays. Admission is $7.50 for adults, $5.00 for children ages 6-12, under 6 free.
For more information contact the Eisenhower National Historic Site at 717/ 338-9114 or visit the web site at www.nps.gov/eise