80th Anniversary of D-Day

Yesterday was the 80th anniversary of D-Day. I watched some of the ceremonies on TV and saw U.S. D-Day veterans and grateful French citizens waving American flags.

Over 150,000 U.S., British, and Canadian troops stormed the Normandy beaches on 6 June 1944. The invasion was the largest amphibious assault in history.  

The heroic actions of those servicemen marked a turning point in WWII. If not for their bravery, the world might be a different place today. Their bravery helped overcome tyranny and eventually maintained freedom for many people in many countries.

These servicemen were true heroes and many paid the ultimate sacrifice for their actions. There are 4,426 names on the Memorial Wall at the National D-Day Memorial, 2,509 Americans and 1,917 Allies.

The opening scenes of the movie Saving Private Ryan are probably some of the most realistic depictions of D-Day. What those soldiers did, endured, suffered, and saw is unimaginable.

I do not know of any Mercer or Van Wert County servicemen who were on the Normandy beaches on D-Day. Maybe someone knows.

One of my relatives, Pvt. Edgar F. Schumm (1914-1944), died in battle at Montigny, France. His tombstone is at Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm. At the same time his brother Richard was a Marine on Guam and another brother, Rinehart, was in a Virginia Army camp.  

PVT. Edgar F. Schumm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2020 photo by Karen)

Another relative, Pfc. Victor Schueler (1924-1945), 85th Mountain Regiment, 10th Mountaineer Division, was wounded in action, recovered from his wounds, but died from a kidney infection a couple months later in Italy. His tombstone is at Saint Paul Lutheran Cemetery, Preble, Adams County, Indiana.  

On my paternal side, Pfc. Ralph J. Derickson Jr (1925-1945), 99th Infantry Division, was killed in action in Germany during the Battle of the Bulge. He is buried in Luxembourg but his cenotaph is in Riverside Cemetery, Geneva, Indiana.  

Some of the soldiers who survived D-Day are still living and some of them attended the ceremonies in France. A few said that at the time they were too young to join the military, but they lied about their age so they could join the fight.

We can never thank these brave men enough for their sacrifices.

They were the Greatest Generation and we must never forget them and what they sacrificed for freedom.  


    • Rob on June 7, 2024 at 7:19 am
    • Reply

    Harold Schumm he always said he landed on Normandy i really don’t know if he did or not

    1. Thanks for that information. I will look into that. Karen

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