Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bradenton resident Jack King returns from first visit to D-Day beaches in 70 years

Retired Navy Lt. Cmdr.  Jack King of Heritage Harbour returned recently from the 70th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy with a whole new set of  memories.

Jack King
"The thing that impressed me most was the gratitude and hospitality of the people in Normandy," he told the Herald.

But it wasn't just the French who said thank you.

"Some of the German visitors came over and said thank you for saving their country," Lt. Cmdr. King said.

"Like my wife said, it's not like I didn't have an ego before," he said.

So much had changed since King was a young Navy radioman at Normandy during World War II, he had difficulty recognizing the place. It was the first time he had visited Normandy since D-Day.

King also visited the cemetery where thousands of U.S. fighters who lost their lives on Omaha and Utah beaches are buried.

"It was stirring, and it was emotional," said the 90-year-old.

While at Normandy for the observance that attracted many world leaders, King shook hands with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

For more on Jack King's memories of Normandy, visit http://www.bradenton.com/2014/06/05/5189450/manatee-countys-normandy-veterans.html




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