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'Big Red One' Soldiers help commemorate 70th anniversary of D-Day in France



June 11, 2014
Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division are taking part in ceremonial events surrounding the 70th anniversary commemoration of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France, through June 7.

A team from the "Big Red One's" Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard and more than 20 Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team are participating in various ceremonies highlighting the historic World War II battle. The Big Red One is participating in more than 20 events.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to honor fallen American Soldiers at the American Cemetery ceremony on June 6.

For the first time in history, the German army will be included in the events commemorating the significant milestone.

Also, to mark the 70th anniversary of one of the most daring and pivotal offensives in military history, the 1st Inf. Div. published "Reflections: Big Red One veterans, families bring stories of World War II to life," a special edition of Duty First! magazine that honors the heroes of D-Day and World War II.

Featuring stories about Big Red One Medal of Honor recipients, Buffalo Soldiers and Kansas natives, the magazine seeks to bring to life the heroism and sacrifices made by the Greatest Generation.

"This generation of service members, many who gave the ultimate sacrifice, are part of an unbroken chain of heroes who have served our country with pride and honor," Lt. Col. Sean Ryan, 1st Inf. Div. public affairs officer, said. "Words can never express our gratitude to these selfless warriors for allowing us to remain a free society."

Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley commanding general, said today's Big Red One Soldiers walk in the footsteps of giants.

"Their contributions to this division, to the Army and to this nation are untold and exude in me — in all of us who serve here — a deep sense of pride," Funk said. "I can think of no better way to commemorate the 70th anniversary of our actions on D-Day than by reading and reflecting upon their sacrifices."

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