We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day on the anniversary of one of the world’s most ugly.  Sixty-five years ago, on this day, was the greatest single event of WWII, D-Day. We arrived in Romeo early, yet the grounds of Lions field were already bustling.   The first Annual Salute to Veterans Weekend was underway. 

Major General Scott West opened the ceremony.

“Sixty five years ago today, 150,000 plus soldiers from the allied armies…went into Europe to reclaim freedom.  Nearly 9,000 of the young Americans still rest in that French soil…  I encourage you to think of the Greatest Generation.  Remember them and what they did, who they are, and what they stand for.”

Remembrance became a term we heard throughout the day. 

We were then able to spend a few minutes with the very busy John Lind, the curator of the Arsenal Of Democracy Museum, and WWII reenactment participant.  The museum was the host of the day’s events, an exciting day for the organization. 

The purpose of today is to pay homage and respect to our Greatest Generation, said Lind as he stood in front of a WWII Tiger Tank in WWII gear.   Most of the guys here are just history buffs, explained Lind.  Most spend years putting together their collections and uniforms.   Everything is authentic, except the bullets.  As safety is really our main concern, said Lind. 

We then went off to explore the grounds and meet some of the re-enactors and various vendors.  Everyone we met was in great spirits, and all provided us with a free history lesson.  Whether it be from the origins of the certain insignias, to learning about the Russian bomb dogs, we all left a little smarter. 

Then the action started.  After a brief rundown, the Nazi’s took their positions, and the Americans followed suit.  We were fortunate enough to get free reign during the first re-enactment.  We got to get right in the action: tanks, explosions, automatic weapons.  The bullets might be false, but you lose yourself in the moment, and a sense of exciting tension sets in.  We know that what we experienced isn’t even in the same ballpark as the real thing, but it did allow us a unique perspective.  It was without a doubt fun, but equally chilling.  It makes you conscious of how fortunate you are, and what a great sacrifice our soldiers make for us everyday. 

After all the Nazis were captured and the first battle was over, we gathered for a photo, gave our thanks and said goodbye. 

Proceeds from the rally to benefit the Romeo Lions Club and the Detroit Arsenal of Democracy MuseumSM. Building fund

Sponsored by the Detroit Arsenal of Democracy MuseumSM, The Arsenal of Democracy Motor PoolSM and the Romeo Lions.




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