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Contact: Carol Hegeman, 717-338-9114 Ext. 4411
On Saturday, June 7, the National Park Service at the Eisenhower National Historic Site will commemorate the anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy, France.
The launching of the D-Day invasion was the most crucial decision Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower made during World War II. At a meeting with his staff the early morning hours of June 5, the group learned there was to be a 36-hour break in the torrential rains. Eisenhower had already postponed the invasion 24 hours because of the weather. After listening to his advisors opinions, it came down to Eisenhower to make the decision. "O.K." he said, "let's go." The next day, June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches in Normandy, France.
Eisenhower and the soldiers who made the landings will be remembered in a special program by park rangers,Eisenhower and the Men of D-Day. Visitors will have an opportunity to learn about the D-Day invasion and Eisenhower's relationship with the troops through a hands-on experience with equipment and uniforms. The program will be presented at 10:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m., and 3:15 p.m. It will also be presented twice 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 camp and talk informally with the living historians from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Living history units will represent the 4th Infantry and 82nd Airborne Divisions.
At 5 p.m., Licensed Battlefield Guide Ralph Siegel will conduct a tour of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg National Military Park that focuses 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. 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.daily. 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