Medics sort the dead shortly after the D-day invasion. Photo from Clancy Lyall’s personal collection.
Explaining our mission statement, or the reason why we reenact is both easy and difficult to explain. All of us are passionate about are honoring our heroes and portraying them accurately. We spent a lot of time and money researching for equipment, uniforms, and weapons. Not to mention the time and research which goes far beyond watching the “Band of Brothers” series on TV. We go out of our way to talk to veterans and always try to ensure that a veteran is with us at events. Our ultimate goal is to honor and learn from these great men. In a few years, they won’t be around. So we cannot, and do not miss an opportunity to spend time with them and listened to their stories.
In today’s schools, the war in which these great men fought to save the world in, is being slowly removed from the history books. One local school system spends three days to go over World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. That’s three days total! What a slap in the face to the families and friends of all those who didn’t come back home. The above picture shows the dead being sorted from D-
This is where our group comes in. We love talking about World War II history. At every event, we are constantly doing talks and showing vintage equipment. We talk in schools and to civic clubs. And, as stated before, we bring vets.
Why do we do the 101st Airborne? Well, the 101st Airborne is probably one of the most recognized divisions in the entire war and the airborne were THE elite fighting divisions in World War II. Plus, people see the eagle on the shoulder and are instantly drawn in. However, we honor all veterans from any division and do whatever we can to get them to our events. We’ve had veterans from the 99th Infantry Division, 82nd Airborne, 17th Airborne, and the Navy stay and spend time in our encampments. We love them all.
In conclusion, our mission statement can be summed up with this sentence; we learn from, honor, and emulate our heroes so that we can teach the next generation of the sacrifices they made to keep the world free.