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The highest moments were absolutely the ceremonies for Roy O'Neill in Normandy and Edward Bullock in Northumberland when they received their medal for the Légion d'Honneur. Emotional moments for these veterans and for us as well. A lot of phone calls and several letters to the French government were finally honored with that important medal at the end of the year. Canadian veteran Adair Muir received also his medal after more than 4 years ! Our association "Deep Respect" was involved with the medals for 7 veterans during the last 2 years.
We organized a fifth "Veterans Week" in June with a huge program. The veterans Joan Cook (WAAF), Roy O'Neill ( Royal Corps of Signals ), Edward Bullock ( 53rd Inf Div Welsh), Edwin Jeffery (Royal Navy), Bernard Dargols ( 2nd Inf Div US ), Charles Norman Shay ( 1st Inf Div US )Jack Port ( 4th Inf Div ) and Albert Figg ( 43rd Arm Div Wessex ) participated during this week with one or more ceremonies at Ranville, Courseulles, Bayeux, St. Laurent sur Mer, Sainteny, Arromanches, Tournières and many other villages.
It was a great honor to have Mrs Susan Eisenhower as our special guest for the ceremonie with the unveiling of a Information Plaque about General Eisenhower's temporary SHAEF's HQ-camp "Shellburst" at Tournières.
The most touching event took place on the 7th June at Arromanches where we dispersed with his family and in presence of a great number of friends the ashes of veteran Eric Rackham into the sea at the spot where he landed on 7th June 1944. Eric died in the Bayeux hospital, so not far from Arromanches, in September 2014. 3 month before he received his medal for the Légion d'Honneur at the Prefecture at Caen. May our friend rest in peace !
We are far behind with the news on our website, but our new member Judith Rietveld offered her help to update the site. The first results are already to see on www.deeprespect.org and we hope to finish with this important job in a couple of months and show you pictures of the events mentioned above and others like visiting the cemeteries and flowering the graves.
We had 2 information days with an exposition of photographs of Ian Patrick for the students at the Senghor Lycée at Evreux. At the local cemetery we laid flowers with the students near the headstones of soldiers of the Commonwealth. Every month in the winter and every week during the summer we lay flowers on the graves of the fallen heroes of WW2. A student of the Senghor Lycée flowered in name of "Deep Respect" grave number 1,500 !
General Patton's granddaughter Helen Patton became our patroness and with volunteers we painted the Sherman-tank and restored memory-plaques at Camp Patton in Néhou. Helen joined us when our special member Theo van der Elst came from the Netherlands with a Engineers Search-team to Normandy and succeed in finding the spot where a British Bomber crashed in July 1944. We need now permission of the Prefecture of Calvados to start digging and find remains and to proof that we found the spot where 7 crew members and 15 passengers felt.
We planned this year our "Veteran's Week" from Friday 3rd till Friday 10th June and hope to organize the unveiling of an Information Plaque for the Mulberry Bridge at Vierville sur Mer, a Military Camp at Camp Patton near Néhou, the unveiling of a Memory Plaque near Vire for 4 killed crew members of an aircraft that crashed there. We'll try to participate with the vets ceremonies at Port-en-Bessin, Bayeux, Sainteny, Carentan and Colleville sur Mer. When the mayor of Graignes gives us his permission to restore the graves of the civilian victims of the Raid of Graignes we go to Graignes too. As soon as we know which veterans will join us we will announce them on the website. The same with our final program for June.
Besides arranging the "Veteran's Week" we will be active the whole year with flowering the graves and other events. In February Roy O'Neill will reopen the Overlord Museum at Colleville sur Mer. We will meet the students of the Senghor Lycée in Evreux again in April and possibly the same month at Ranville. In April also the 1st maintenance day for the Mulberry Bridge at Vierville sur Mer. In May we will participate the ceremonies on the 8th (Liberation Day) at Grandcamp-Maisy, St. Laurent sur Mer and St. Fromont or Airel. For July we have the ceremony at Hill 112 with Albert Figg on our program and for August ( not sure ) Paris. In September we hope to offer Roy a trip to the Netherlands where he took part of the liberation of several villages near Eindhoven in 1944. Not far from Eindhoven is Venray where Roy's brother-in -law is buried. The family is never informed about the location of the grave of Alfred Whitford and was never able to visit the grave. A friend of Roy gave his life for our freedom a couple of miles from Venray and is buried just across the German border.
We want to thank you all for your support to the association. Without your help and gifts it was not possible to realize the projects and we beg to continue with donations to secure a good prolongation of our work. Even the smallest donation is very welcome and if you are not able to do it via the donate-button on the website ( PayPal ) ask us our IBAN and BIC. Many thanks when you made already your donation or many thanks in advance!
Sun, 29 May