Thursday, March 5, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

US D-Day vets honor fallen comrades

CORRECTION France D-Day Commemorations

US World War II veterans of the 29th Division, Hal Baumgarter, 90 from Pennsylvania, right, and Steve Melnikoff, 94, from Rhode Island, salute during a D-Day commemoration, on Omaha Beach, western France , Friday June 6, 2014. World leaders and dignitaries including President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II will gather to honor the more than 150,000 American, British, Canadian and other Allied D-Day troops who risked and gave their lives to defeat Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

By
From page A1 | June 07, 2014 |

VIERVILLE-SUR-MER, France — Veterans from the U.S. 29th Infantry Division returned to the shores of Omaha Beach at dawn Friday after 70 years — this time the storms replaced by a bright sun and their mission of war giving way to a desire to remember their fallen comrades.

As the sun came up over the Normandy coast, the seven returning vets and their family members toasted those who died when more than 150,000 U.S., British, Canadian and other Allied forces came ashore on June 6, 1944.

At 6:30 a.m., the precise hour that the first waves of infantry began wading ashore under a deafening hailstorm of German machine-gun and mortar fire, the men – most now in their 90s – raised glasses of bracing Calvados apple brandy to the memory of friends killed that day.

Hundreds of onlookers crowded the beach, including many re-enactors in period army uniforms. Some drove vintage jeeps and armored vehicles like those seen here 70 years ago.

A military band of serving 29th division members played taps and “Amazing Grace” before the seven vets walked off the beach to the applause of hundreds of onlookers.

The 29th, a National Guard formation nicknamed the Blue and Gray, was one of six Allied infantry and three airborne divisions that assaulted a 50-mile (80-kilometer) stretch of heavily defended coastline. Nearly 1,000 members of the division were killed, wounded or went missing on the invasion’s first day. Thousands more died in the ensuing three-month Battle of Normandy in addition to some 20,000 French civilians killed in Allied bombardments.

Retired doctor and author Harold Baumgarten, 89, of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, has returned to Normandy many times over the decades.

“I landed on this beach in the first wave and I got wounded five times – three times on D-Day and twice on June 7th,” Baumgarten said. “I had to stop. I ran out of blood.”

In interviews this week in Normandy, Baumgarten and other 29th Division vets described in vivid detail their memories of that morning 70 years ago.

Baumgarten was a 19-year-old from the Bronx when he jumped off a landing craft into the surf and waded into France, passing the bodies of soldiers whose war had ended there.

“I can look out at that beach and tell you where each was lying and I can describe his face, even nowadays,” Baumgarten said.

Another 29th Division veteran also paid tribute to “those guys on the bluff” – referring to the 9,387 men killed during the battles in the summer of 1944 who are buried at the nearby U.S. cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer.

“They’re the ones that are responsible for guys like me and the rest of the vets you see to get back home,” said Steven Melnikoff, 94, of Cockeysville, Maryland.

“They paid the price. They are the heroes,” he said. “We have a lot of people with a lot of ribbons but those guys probably didn’t get a single ribbon. But those are the guys I come back for.”

French President Francois Hollande also paid tribute to the American dead.

“France will never forget what it owes these soldiers, what it owes the United States,” Hollande said at the cemetery.

“Vive l’Amerique! Vive la France! And long live the memory of those who fell here for our liberty.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Show resilience in the face of adversity

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

 
Students sample industry choices during school career fair

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Real McCoy II Ferry set for maintenance

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville police slate annual awards ceremony

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

Limited damage to apartment from carport fire

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Friday concert benefits Families Helping Families

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Vallejo police arrest 4 in connection with 3 killings

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
National Red Cross Month celebrates heroes

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Il Fiorello schedules citrus class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Jury convicts ex-con who served as own lawyer

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

Red Carpet Gala to benefit theater foundation

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Pet remembrance event set in Vallejo

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: Tuesday, March 3, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: Tuesday, March 3, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
.

US / World

 
Justices sharply divided over health care law subsidies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Children in Southern California breathing easier, study says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Failures by 3 governments preceded homeless man’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Second Los Angeles hospital reports ‘superbug’ infections

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
California lawmaker pushes child care worker vaccinations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Obama signs Homeland Security funding bill into law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

House panel issues subpoena for Clinton’s personal emails

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
A defiant Alabama regains ground against gay marriage

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

How much sugar is in that? 7 foods with added sugar

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Microsoft co-founder says he found sunken Japan WWII warship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Coal mine blast kills at least 24 in war-torn east Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

.

Living

Today in History: March 5, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 5, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: March 5, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
I can’t tell if I still want to be married, or just don’t want to be alone

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

DiCaprio partners with Netflix for series of documentaries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ tops MTV Movie Awards nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Glen Campbell children fighting wife’s control of affairs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

 
Posey has 2-run double in Giants’ 9-2 loss to A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Local report: Vanden softball slips by Rodriguez with late run

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Curry shoots Warriors to 102-93 victory over Bucks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Former player Nate Jackson calls for NFL to allow marijuana

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Phoenix to install tire barriers before NASCAR visit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Pirelli sticks with same tire choices for first 4 F1 races

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP Source: Peyton Manning returning for 18th NFL season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NCAA reports big jump in home runs with new flat-seam ball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

MLS, players agree in principle to 5-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prosecutors can’t bring up Florida shooting in ex-NFLer case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Vikings agree to trade Cassel to Bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Scott opens a season of change at Doral

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

‘It WAS him': Defense admits Tsarnaev bombed Boston Marathon

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
With Peterson’s status in question, Vikings pay a visit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL stadium supporters in LA suburb file ballot paperwork

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Alex Johnson, AL batting champ in 1970, dies at age 72

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Goodell: NFL responsible for Super Bowl seating problems

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Aaron D. Malave

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Cesar Luis Garcia-Regalado

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Rodolfo Landabora Porquez

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9