U.S. Army Europe Band supports 71st anniversary of Normandy invasion

By Spc. Victoria Chamberlin
U.S. Army Europe Band

News story photo
Photo credit: Spc. Victoria Chamberlin
Drum Major, Staff Sgt. Stephen Edgerton with Sgt. Charles Wilson, 4th Infantry Division. For more photos, please visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/67805251@N07
NORMANDY, France - Veterans all over the world gathered in Normandy for the 71st anniversary and memorial services honoring those who lost their lives during Operation Overlord, better known as D-Day.

The U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) Band supported 22 missions over 5 days, with a ceremonial marching unit, brass quintet, and buglers. It was an unforgettable experience for everyone; one the members of the band will never forget.

“History is made from real people accomplishing real things. That generation is fading into obscurity as time passes. It was a privilege to participate in the D-Day anniversary with these real-life heroes before they’re gone.” Sgt. Joshua Bennett, Trombone.

The band performed all over Normandy, most notably at Utah Beach, The American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, Saint Mere Eglise, Picauville, Carentan, Chef du Pont, Pointe du Hoc, and La Fiere where the 101st Airborne Division landed a few miles from Utah Beach.

Carentan, a port city in Normandy, became a chief objective for the United States following the invasion. The band performed a parade through the streets of the village with Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division, for thousands of French citizens. Many of whom remember their liberators first hand.

Most importantly, we had the honor of meeting several veterans of the D-Day invasion including Sgt. Charles Wilson of the 4th Infantry Division, who was among the first wave of Utah Beach landings.

“It was something I couldn’t imagine,” Sgt. Wilson told members of the band. “The sea was red that day.”

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