"Band of Brothers" statue

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Thorlifter, May 29, 2012.

  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I think this is excellent!!!


    Statue of Maj. Dick Winters, inspiration for 'Band of Brothers,' unveiled in France - Lebanon Daily News

    HARRISBURG -- A statue in the likeness of a Pennsylvania native whose quiet leadership was chronicled in the World War II book and television miniseries "Band of Brothers" is being unveiled in France.

    Maj. Dick Winters was a lieutenant when he led his troops during the D-Day invasion of France during World War II. Beginning June 6, the Richard Winters Leadership Monument will survey the Normandy landscape that was the site of the crucial operation that paved the way for the end of the war.

    The 12-foot-tall bronze statue shows the Ephrata native with his weapon at the ready, The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News (Maj. Dick Winters, of 'Band of Brothers' fame, will be memorialized with a statue in Normandy | PennLive.com ) reported.

    The monument in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont will be dedicated to all junior U.S. military officers serving that day, and World War II Foundation Chairman Tim Gray said that recognition was crucial in getting Winters to agree to the project before he died last year at age 92.

    "It doesn't just recognize him. It recognizes all American divisions that landed there on D-Day. It was one of his requests," Gray said. "We knew when we approached him that he would feel the same way and that's how he felt."

    The exploits of Winters and his "Easy Company" were featured prominently in the Stephen Ambrose book and HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers." On D-Day, Winters led a small unit of paratroopers to destroy a German artillery battery charged with destroying U.S. forces landing at Utah Beach.

    "If they hadn't been dropped that night, it would've been a disaster on the beach from those guns," said Edward Heffron, 89, of Philadelphia, one of the remaining members of Easy Company.

    Heffron said Winters, his company commander, deserves the monument and more, up to and including the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    "He was the brains behind the whole thing and the whole courage and the other 12 men too," said Heffron.

    Retired Col. James Helis, chairman of the Department of National Security Strategy at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, said Winters represents an entire generation of young men who took on a leadership role in the growing U.S. Army.

    "They provided the front line leadership that the troops needed," he said. "The generals do the big planning, but when it comes down to making contact with the enemy and fighting the battle and getting off that beach, that's done by the junior officers. Winters represents all of that."

    The statue was designed by Stephen Spears, who sculpted the World War I Doughboy statue in Cantigny, France. The base of the statue bearing Winters' likeness features one of his quotes: "Wars do not make men great, but they do bring out the greatness in good men."

    As part of the project, Gray also plans to release a film documentary that will premiere later this year at Winters' alma mater, Franklin Marshall College.

    The unveiling ceremony will be hosted by former Gov. Tom Ridge and three-time World Series winning pitcher Curt Schilling.
     
  2. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    This is from the Patriot New link above


    On the main road to Sainte Marie-du-Mont in Normandy, the steeple of the 11th-century church — once a shield for enemy snipers — rises high above the village.

    The confessional and the glass case that encases a statue of the Virgin bear bullet holes, remnants of the fierce fighting 68 years ago.

    The flagpole at Brecourt Manor is off to one direction, to the other Carentan —Nazi German stronghold landmarks, objectives for the Allies.

    And approximately three miles away, the expanse of Utah Beach summons the images in historic black-and-white footage of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944.

    Maj. Dick Winters — then a lieutenant — sealed his place in history among this bucolic landscape of dairy farms.

    Over the years, Winters, an Ephrata native, has been lauded for his valor and leadership. Medals, books, movies and personal tributes have honored the military acumen Winters displayed on that day as he led a small unit of men to destroy a German artillery battery charged with destroying landing U.S. forces.

    A reluctant hero, Winters, who passed away last year at 92, deflected the laurels onto his men.

    Now a statue in his likeness will for posterity survey a landscape that has come to memorialize the liberation of a country and the turning point of the war.

    An effort years in the making will bear fruition on June 6 as the World War II Foundation unveils the Richard Winters Leadership Monument, a 12-foot high bronze statue of Winters in an attack position, his weapon at the ready. The monument will be dedicated to all junior U.S. military officers who served on that day.

    “Richard Winters represents the young men of his generation who stepped up and took on a leadership role as junior officers in a growing American army,” said Ret. Colonel James Helis, chairman of the Department Of National Security Strategy at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle.

    “They provided the front line leadership that the troops needed. The generals do the big planning but when it comes down to making contact with the enemy and fighting the battle and getting off that beach, that’s done by the junior officers. Winters represents all of that.”

    That mutual nod to military leadership was a crucial factor in getting Winters to agree to the project, said Tim Gray, chairman of The WWII Foundation and brainchild behind the monument.

    “It doesn’t just recognize him. It recognizes all American divisions that landed there on D-Day. It was one of his requests,” Gray said. “We knew when we approached him that he would feel the same way and that’s how he felt.”

    After the war, Winters fulfilled his dream to stake his claim to a small plot of land and raise a family. His quiet life, first in Lebanon County, then Hershey, changed abruptly in 1992, when author Stephen Ambrose released his best-seller “Band of Brothers.” Winters stood as the central figure in the gripping account of D-Day.

    Then, in 2001, Winters and Company E 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division were catapulted into national discourse in the Emmy Award-winning HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” based on the book.

    As he fulfilled the deluge of interview requests and speaking appearances across the country, Winters wrote his own wartime memoirs.

    “If they hadn’t been dropped that night, it would’ve been a disaster on the beach from those guns,” said Edward Heffron, 89, one of the few remaining members of Easy Company.

    “Dick was a hell of a guy. I’d go anywhere for him. Most of the guys were like that. Brings a little tear to my eye when I think of it. But to give him credit and talk about him I don’t mind.”

    Tom Hanks talks about Dick Winters Tom Hanks talks about Dick Winters Tom Hanks, executive producer of Band of Brothers, spoke about Major Dick Winters following a memorial service celebrating the life of Winters held at the Hershey Theatre.

    Heffron, who lives in Philadelphia, said Winters, his company commander, deserves the monument and more. He said Winters deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    “He was the brains behind the whole thing and the whole courage and the other 12 men too,” said Heffron, who is widely known by his nickname “Babe.”

    Heffron said he remembers that historic day “like it was yesterday.”

    As part of the project, Gray will later this year also release a film documentary, scheduled to premier at Franklin Marshall College, Winters’ alma mater.

    The statue was designed by renowned sculptor Stephen Spears, who carved the United States World War I Doughboy statue in Cantigny, France.

    The unveiling ceremony will be hosted by former Gov. Tom Ridge and three-time World Series winning pitcher Curt Schilling.

    Gray’s travel companions also include Tim Lambert, the multimedia news director at WITF, and Jordan Brown, a 13-year-old Lebanon County boy.

    Two years ago, Jordan launched a wristband fundraising campaign for the memorial. He raised $98,000.

    “I feel like I’m really helping the vets who served and are serving now,” said Jordan.

    A sixth grader at Cedar Crest Middle School, Jordan has sold thousands of olive drab wristbands with Winters’ motto to his troops, “Hang tough,” as well as inspired hundreds of people to support his campaign.

    Normandy marks Jordan’s first overseas trip. His two-year journey learning about Winters and World War II, he said, has instilled in him profound lessons.

    “He taught me that no man is bigger than any other and that you can accomplish anything if you set your mind to it,” Jordan said. “And that the future really is in your hands.”

    Lambert will assemble a multi-media project called “Hang Tough: Dick Winters in Normandy.” His daily reports from Normandy will broadcast on Morning Edition, Radio Smart Talk and All Things Considered.

    “To tell the story through Jordan’s eyes was pretty compelling for us,” Lambert said.

    Gray said he never ceases to be moved by the reception Normandy locals give American veterans.

    “If you are American, British or Canadian in that part of the world, you are welcome with open arms and if you are a veteran of D-Day, they treat you like you are still a young man whose come to liberate the country,” Gray said.

    “We’ll see little kids run up to the D-Day veterans to give them flowers and women come out and give them a kiss on the cheek and a glass of wine.”

    Helis said that with the loss of 1,000 World War II veterans a day, the battlefields, monuments and oral histories of this era must be guarded and maintained for future generations.

    A frequent visitor to Normandy, Helis said that 68 years later, the area still conjures up vivid images.

    “If you go down to the beaches, you can still see German fortifications. You can walk to the end of beach, look up and see the fortifications and ground that troops had to take,” Helis said. “If you go there early when its gray and misty, you can put yourself in the role of what it would’ve been like. It’s there. It will come to you.”

    Tom Hanks, co-producer of “Band of Brothers” TV miniseries, once described Winters as “a complicated, magnificent human being.”

    Winters rejected the idea that he was a hero.

    A man who quietly toiled at his agricultural feed business, his wife, Ethel, at his side, received the Four Freedoms Award and the Distinguished Service Cross.

    The Winters raised two children. Ethel died in April.

    But even in death, Winters — the man who played a pivotal role in ensuring that more than 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches in Normandy — cannot escape the accolades.

    The base of the statue bearing his likeness will bear one of his quotes: “Wars do not make men great, but they do bring out the greatness in good men.”
     
  3. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    This is long over due but glad to see it being done.:salute:
     
  4. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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  5. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

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    Great news...
     
  6. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

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    And poignant that today, June 6, is the day that you posted this. :salute:
     
  7. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Great to see! :salute: :salute:

    Well it was first posted a week ago but close enough Eric ;)
     
  8. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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