ROCKFORD, IL (WTVO/WQRF) — As “Taps” played in the background, local veterans gathered at Rockford’s LZ Peace Memorial Wall of Honor to recognize those who sacrificed everything for our freedom.
“Today is very important to remember those veterans from Normandy,” said former Marine Ed McMahon. “Normandy was the beginning of the end of World War Two.”
On this day 75 years ago, over 150,000 troops stormed the beaches of Normandy to face the Germans. Thousands never even made it to shore.
“They went from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the selflessness of it all so it was the greatest, I believe the greatest generation, and all of us younger vets honor them so much,” said Army veteran Nick Parnello.
As a veteran himself, McMahon believe it’s important to pay tribute to those who died during the largest seaborne invasion in history.
“We are an elite few people so we do honor and respect all of those who are serving today and who have gone before us,” said McMahon.
Parnello says public memorials like the LZ Peace Memorial Wall, located at 6595 Guilford Road, are vital, especially for the younger generation. “I hope they can somehow get a little insight to what the generations before us, the veterans before us, did to keep this country so beautiful and free,” said Parnello.
With the National Anthem playing the background, veterans in attendance saluted the flag as it was raised to full staff.
“They died for what they believed was the right thing to do to bring freedom to the world,” said Parnello. “This is a small, small way to remember them and remember the sacrifice they made.”