D-Day Remembered 80 Years and 2 Days Later at Fort Miles

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This past week the world paused to recognize the 80th anniversary of D-Day. And what a more appropriate place to hold such a ceremony in Delaware than at the Fort Miles Museum Overlook, on the other edge of the Atlantic, in the Cape Henlopen State Park?

ā€œIā€™d like them to remember the sacrifices that everyday citizens made 80 years ago when called upon to fight uninvited aggression in faraway places,ā€ says Will Short of the Fort Miles Historical Association who served as the master of ceremonies this past Saturday.

“It takes an incredible amount of courage and undying faith in your country’s leadership to do what those brave men did on June 6, 1944. I hope and pray that Americans today still have that same faith and courage because wars continue to rage, as they have throughout the history of mankind. We will be tested again,ā€ he warned.

Aaron Webster sang the National Anthem. Webster is a member of the Sons of the American Legion Post 5 in Rehoboth Beach and a student at Liberty University.

The Keynote speaker was Rev. Carol Flett who explained the role of chaplains in the military and the significance of this chaplain kit used and given to her by her mentor, Rev. Morris Arnold. He used it when he landed on Utah Beach. The chaplain corps dates back to July 1775.

Piper Lani Spahr explained the significance of the bagpipes before performing the Road to the Isles.

Spahr was followed by the rifle salute, the tolling of the bell for each of the 40 Delawareans killed during the Battle of Normandy, this rifle salute, and playing of taps, the benediction, and finally, amazing grace.

The VFW Mason Dixon Post 7234 honor guard posted the colors, performed the rifle salute, played taps, and retired the colors.

“We commemorate D-Day because we should and we really have to in order to keep our heritage alive for all the men and all the people that were there and who gave their life and who sacrificed so much just so that we could be who we are today,” says Delaware Rep. Jeff Hilovsky, whose father, Sgt. Paul Hilovsky, was part of the D-Day invasion. “He volunteered to be a paratrooper because it paid $5 more each month. He volunteered to be a Pathfinder because it paid an extra $50 each month. Pathfinders were America’s first special forces and were borne out of the near disaster during the invasion of Sicily,” he explained.

“We can only imagine what our warriors were thinking in the silence of the C-47 ride across the English Channel, or the men on the Higgins Boats ready to storm the beaches…. they were probably praying that they and their buddies could go home, see their girlfriends and families, the smell of a home-cooked meal, a quiet house, and a warm bed,” Rep. Hilovsky said.

“So, it is up to us to preserve the memory of their bravery. We will never forget but let us understand here and now that many will not recognize their sacrifice and what happened. It is up to us to carry the torch forward and light the way like the Pathfinders did so others will understand and appreciate how they changed the world,” he added.


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