Survivors strive to preserve memories of Normandy


"We were a different generation," Keith Crider said of the soldiers who returned home after the war. "After you got home, you went on about your life. You dismissed it." (Photo/Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)

Keith Crider's fate during the Normandy invasion in 1944 could well have been determined by drawing straws: His engineering outfit won the draw and wouldn't have to hit the beaches first. It was a fateful outcome. The engineers who landed with the first wave were wiped out, said Crider (photographed this week at the Hancock County Veterans Memorial in downtown Greenfield). (Photo/Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)

GREENFIELD — At 6:30 a.m. 70 years ago today, the first ramps on the first landing boats dropped along a 50-mile stretch of sand on the northern coast of France, spewing more than 150,000 scared, sick and angry fighting men into a windy, rain-swept portal to hell called Normandy.

H-Hour. D-Day, June 6, 1944. Operation Overlord. The attack on Hitler’s Fortress Europe had begun.

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