News from the National WWII Museum about a long-overdue tribute to Navy casualties during D-Day operations:
"National WWII Museum Dispatch readers will be interested to learn that, at long last, a monument will be dedicated on Utah Beach to memorialize the 1068 US Navy sailors killed and eight American warships sunk during the epic Normandy Invasion. The dedication is scheduled to be held on September 27, 2008.
Each of the more than 60 monuments and markers throughout the 50-mile wide Normandy invasion area pays an individual, rightful tribute that corresponds to the particular contribution of every other American and Allied armed service that participated, but no monument stands to commemorate the US Navy’s significant contribution.
The Naval Order of the United States devised and spearheaded the half million dollar initiative to create the sculpture and erect the monument on land donated by the Government of France. Endorsements and support have been received from President George H.W. Bush, Senator Bob Dole, Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks, the Navy League, American Legion, FRA, Navy Club USA, Navy Wives’ Club of America, and other patriotic groups.
A total of 124,000 U.S. Naval personnel took part in the Invasion’s planning and execution. During the landings and three days following, one out of every five American fatalities was a US Navy Sailor. No automated list of surviving World War II Veterans is available, and the relatively small, 1800-member Naval Order is concerned that many remaining Navy Normandy Veterans will not learn of the Monument that honors them until after its dedication. Accordingly, the Museum has been asked to inform World War II Veterans about this tribute to their Navy brothers-in-arms at Normandy.
The Naval Order (born on the Fourth of July, 1890 as a naval historic society) preserves, promotes, celebrates and enjoys the richness of the United States’ Sea Service Heritage. Visit www.navalorder.org for information on the Naval Order, the Navy Monument, tours for the dedication, and ways to contribute or participate.