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Editorial: Echoes

Now that 70 years have passed, the local ranks of World War II veterans have thinned greatly and those who took part in the most decisive event of that conflict, D-Day, have all but disappeared.

The invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, proved to be the crucial turn of the Allies’ wheel against the Axis powers. Younger generations learn of this event through movies, books and documentaries. Older generations heard about it from their fathers and mothers who told the tale of that great day, now so misty in the past.

But we have our own records and today, on the eve of the noteworthy anniversary, reprint portions of Gazette-Journal stories from 1944 and recollections of subsequent years.

Woodrow James of Dutton said in 1984 that on D-Day he was crawling up the beach “as flat as I could” carrying a shovel and bag of maps on his back. The fire was heavy and constant, he said. “When I reached cover, the shovel on my back was cut in two and the bag of maps was shre...

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