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WWII vets, Normandy, remember.

SH11K075WWIINORMANDY-RS Nov. 9, 2011 -- Medic Ken Thomas, 88, uses his cane to write in the sand on Utah Beach, one of two sites where American soldiers landed on the beaches of France the morning of June 6, 1944, to expel the Nazis from western Europe. (SHNS photo by Mike Brown / The Commercial Appeal) (RS) (WWII)

SH11K075WWIINORMANDY-RS Nov. 9, 2011 -- Medic Ken Thomas, 88, uses his cane to write in the sand on Utah Beach, one of two sites where American soldiers landed on the beaches of France the morning of June 6, 1944, to expel the Nazis from western Europe. (SHNS photo by Mike Brown / The Commercial Appeal) (RS) (WWII)

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  • SH11K073WWIINORMANDY-RS Nov. 9, 2011 -- Olin Pickens, 89, comforts Nadia Martinez, from Barcelona, Spain, as she breaks down into tears after thanking Pickens for his sacrifices while they stand on Juno Beach, the landing site of the Canadian forces on D-Day. Martinez said that seeing the large group of veterans walking across the beach flooded her with emotion because it made all the lives lost on the beaches of Normandy feel even more real to her. Tears and thanks were showered on the vets as they traveled across Europe from grateful citizens who often said they owed their freedom to the men in the group. (SHNS photo by Mike Brown / The Commercial Appeal) (RS) (WWII)
  • SH11K072WWIINORMANDY-RS Nov. 9, 2011 -- Clarence Mason, 90, walks quietly across Sword Beach, one of the five beach landing sites on D-Day, after gathering a hand full of pebbles and shells to take back to Memphis. For Mason returning home from the war was bittersweet. He left France where African-Americans were accepted, to return home to his family in the segregated south. (SHNS photo by Mike Brown / The Commercial Appeal) (RS) (WWII)
  • SH11K076WWIINORMANDY-RS Nov. 9, 2011 -- Richard Elliott, 87, raises his hand to salute as taps is played during a ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer on the bluffs that overlook Omaha Beach. The cemetery is the final resting place of 9,387 American soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the war. (SHNS photo by Mike Brown / The Commercial Appeal) (RS) (WWII)
  • SH11K077WWIINORMANDY-RS Nov. 9, 2011 -- James Refsnider, 88, rests with the aid of a grave marker in the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer sitting on the bluffs above Omaha Beach, the bloodiest of the five beach landing sites on the Normandy coast. Refsnider was part of the crew in an LCI, landing craft infantry, directing troop movement in the waters off Omaha beach, were more than 3,000 Americans were left dead, wounded or missing. (SHNS photo by Mike Brown / The Commercial Appeal) (RS) (WWII)
  • SH11K074WWIINORMANDY-RS Nov. 9, 2011 -- Diane Hight comforts W.T. Hardwick, 87, as he looks towards the dunes that conceal Utah Beach from his sight. Hardwick, a member of the 4th Infantry Division, was among the men who stormed Utah Beach in the early morning hours of June 6, 1944. After surviving the initial invasion, he was captured four days later in the hedgerows while making his way towards Saint-Lo. In the first 30 days of his 10-month ordeal as a POW, Hardwick went from a weight of 200 pounds to roughly 130 pounds. (SHNS photo by Mike Brown / The Commercial Appeal) (RS) (WWII)
  • SH11K075WWIINORMANDY-RS Nov. 9, 2011 -- Medic Ken Thomas, 88, uses his cane to write in the sand on Utah Beach, one of two sites where American soldiers landed on the beaches of France the morning of June 6, 1944, to expel the Nazis from western Europe. (SHNS photo by Mike Brown / The Commercial Appeal) (RS) (WWII)

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