DANA, Ind. (WTHI) – The Friends of Ernie Pyle in Dana, Ind. hosted a program to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
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Seventy years ago in Normandy, France, more than 156,000 Allied troops stormed the coast in the largest military operation known to man. It was called “Operation Overlord,” but you and I know it as “D-Day.” Valley native and World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle brought to us the death and devastation that came with the invasion. His hometown chose to use his words to remember and commemorate those who gave their lives.
Pyle’s hometown of Dana, Indiana shares his affinity for those who fought for our country in World War II. The Friends of Ernie Pyle operate the museum in Dana named in his honor. The honored those who gave their lives 70 years ago in D-Day.
“It’s kind of an opportunity for them to come and remember their friends and talk about the things that they’ve seen and perhaps not spoken about with their families,” said Tom Cundiff, a military historian.
Ernie Pyle was not among the war correspondents that landed with Allied forces on D-Day. He arrived the following day, and he went quickly to work, describing the carnage he saw in the same down-to-earth way that made him famous.
“Now that it is over, it seems to me to be a pure miracle that we ever took the beach at all,” Pyle wrote on June 8, 1944.
The Friends of Ernie Pyle felt it was fitting and proper to use the words of Ernie Pyle to remember and commemorate those we lost in the D-Day invasion. They also gave tours of his boyhood home and museum so that others, especially the next generation, learn who Ernie was and what he did for his country.
“The news that they got came from newspapers, so it wasn’t Edward R. Murrow that moved the people, it was Ernie Pyle’s columns in hundreds of newspapers across the country,” said Cundiff.
Ernie Pyle lost his life just a few months after d-day. He was shot by Japanese forces during the invasion of Okinawa, April 1945.