Freedom Rings Commemorates D-Day And WWII Veterans

Thursday, June 4, 2020
Hamilton County Government will join Freedom Rings Global’s commemoration on the 76th Anniversary of the D-Day Landing at Normandy. Residents of Hamilton County and the region are encouraged to ring their bells at 6:44 p.m. this Saturday. 

The bells will begin ringing in Western Europe and will continue across the continent and the Atlantic Ocean to the United States and Canada. The commemoration event was organized by citizens in Great Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands who tend the graves of the fallen who reside in American Cemeteries within their borders.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger endorsed Saturday’s commemoration, stating that "On Saturday, we will recognize those brave men and women who courageously stormed the shores of Normandy on D-Day and in the following days.
Their devotion to the ideas of freedom, liberty and justice serve as a reminder for each of us that we remain committed to the fulfillment of those ideals for every citizen of Hamilton County."  

Echoing the Mayor, Hamilton County Veterans Service Officer Chuck Alsobrook, U. S. Air Force, said, “I firmly believe the brave men and women who served during the Second World War should be given our greatest gratitude for their heroic efforts. The Allied invasion of June 6, 1944 was one of the biggest and most significant campaigns in military history, producing countless acts of valor. May we forever remember the sacrifices made on D-Day.”

Freedom Rings Global, in their announcement of the recognition of “Operation Overlord” recalled that D-Day was the largest World War II Allied operation against Nazi Germany. “Most of the young men who fought to save the world have passed and the remaining veterans are well into their nineties. Sadly, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs, we are losing over 250 WWII veterans every day.” 

Hamilton County Historian Linda Moss Mines, the Tennessee Freedom Rings global coordinator, recounted the significant of the D-Day Invasion. “While the majority of our population today have no remembrance of the storming of the beaches of Normandy or the strategic planning required by Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower and his staff, we have listened as family members shared their memories and have certainly viewed documentaries and movies regarding the daunting task faced by those brave men. It is important that we pause on Saturday and ring our bells as a combined ‘Thank You’ to the more than 150,000 American, British and Canadian forces that landed on the five beaches along that heavily fortified 50-miles coast on France’s Normandy region. There was no guarantee that the military assault would be successful and the accounts of those days, beginning on June 6, are chilling with the fight that occurred for every inch of beach and cliffs. It is difficult to view photos of that day without experiencing a small portion of the pain and suffering our troops and their families felt as so many fell in the fight for liberation.  We also pay tribute to the thousands who joined the fight in the weeks that followed as the Allies marched toward Germany. As a result of that pivotal moment in the world’s history, France and the Low Countries were liberated and the Nazi government would fall within a year.” 

How can residents participate? Wherever you are at 6:44 pm on Saturday evening, pause and ring a bell; it’s the symbolism that’s most important so you may use a hand bell, a pair of holiday jingle bells, a cow bell or ring your chimes. Our houses of faith may choose to toll the bells in remembrance of those who fell and those who forever carried the battle with them in their hearts. Take the remembrance on step farther and call your favorite World War II veteran and say ‘Thank You’. Remembering is important as we move forward to act with freedom, equality and justice.

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