At dawn Thursday, hundreds of civilians and military alike from around the world gathered on Omaha Beach. Others scattered carnations into the waves.
Randall Atanay, the son of a medic who tended to the dying and wounded, waded barefoot into the water, bonding with his dad, who has since died. Up to 12, people attended the ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery, with U. A gun salute thundered into the waters below the cemetery, on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach, and across the rows of white crosses and Stars of David.
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The final resting places of more than 9, of the fallen stretched out before the guests. Hundreds of people packed the seaside square in the town of Arromanches to applaud veterans of the Battle of Normandy that ensued. Passing on memories is especially urgent, with hundreds of World War II veterans now dying every day. But postwar tensions were evident.
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Not invited to the remembrance was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had been present for the 70th commemoration of D-Day. Some 22, German soldiers are among those buried around Normandy. The naval fleet compiled for this attack consisted of 67 ships including six aircraft carriers and numerous submarines and more than aircraft. Tensions had been building for more than 10 years between United States and Japan. After political negotiations failed, Japan determined the best way to resolve the sanctions was to execute a crippling blow to the United States Pacific naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
It is estimated that World War II veterans pass away every day.
Saluting the veterans: Senior living centers honor residents' service
Williford is documenting Masek's story and those of other veterans at Treemont. He goes online to research related history and to fill in gaps in the veterans' memories.
Another factor that keeps senior living communities focused on veterans: Within the target demographic they aim to attract, most people either served in the military or were married to someone who served. A Gallup study showed that among males then ages , almost three-quarters were vets. Even though the majority of residents in senior communities are female, veterans represent a significant portion of the population. Young, 46 of residents are vets, including two women who served; at Treemont, 40 of residents are vets or spouses of vets.
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Williford keeps a worksheet to help visitors determine if they might qualify. For many families, the benefit makes the cost of assisted living affordable. In the now-crowded market, senior living communities aim to outshine competitors with attractive facilities and upscale dining as well as intangibles that boost quality of life. Programs for veterans fit the bill, especially for those with dementia.
Because memories from young adulthood often persist long after short-term memory fails, anything that encourages veterans to reminisce about their military service taps into lasting memories and connects them with others. Programs honoring vets are also a selling point for those who may have mixed feelings about moving a senior loved one into a facility. It'll go right there,'" Alagood says. Senior living communities also provide an avenue linking veterans with nonprofit organizations seeking to serve them. Belmont Village hosts an annual presentation about Honor Flight Network, which transports aging veterans, at no charge, to Washington, D.
Veterans also connect to young people and the broader community.
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At Lindan Park, for example, activities director Alpa Joshi pairs veteran residents with high school students who want to interview them about their experiences. Some events include grandchildren or great-grandchildren, giving young people a chance to learn history and see a side of their elders they might not otherwise know. Now he's ready to talk. He wrote about his wartime experiences as part of a group called the Scribblers at C.
At 6 feet tall, he weighed only pounds when he was liberated. Clift recounts a series of what he calls "small miracles" that kept him going: a German commander who marched prisoners west, so as to be captured by the Americans instead of the Russians; a bomb dropped by an Allied plane that ripped a giant hole in his coat and clothes but only grazed his skin; a kind woman with the Red Cross in Paris who agreed to send a telegram, for free, to alert his folks he was free and safe.
Clift's experience is common among veterans who move into senior living communities, Sanders says.
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