These are our heroes and we shall never forget

Jun. 6, 2024  PLYMOUTH VOICE.

Plymouth Michigan News


D-Day 80-years – 2024.

It may be the last time American veterans of the Greatest Generation are able to go to Normandy to commemorate that fateful day, June 6, 1944. The infamous operation known as Operation Overlord was planned in two phases, airborne assault and amphibious landings at beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the coast of France.

It was not until their later years and decades of silence that many of the men and women of America’s Greatest Generation came forward and told their story of their heroic action.

General of the Army, Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the following message to the D-Day troops in 1944.

“Soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force: You are about to embark on the great crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you…”

Twenty years later Eisenhower recalled:

“They were getting ready – and all camouflaged, their faces blackened and all this, and there they saw me. Of course, they recognized me, and said, ‘Now quit worrying, General. We’ll take care of this thing for you.’” Witnesses said, “As he turned away there was a tear in his eye.”

More than 150,000 Allied troops landed on those beaches of the French coastline code-named Omaha, Utah, Juno, Sword and Gold, carried by 7,000 boats. They were there on the Nazi occupied Normandy shore to fight for liberty.

On that day, 4,414 Allied troops lost their lives, 2,501 of them Americans. More than 5000 were wounded.

Their bravery and sacrifice changed the world.

Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “We will accept nothing less than full victory.”

Let us remember hero –  the late Fred Millard of Northville.

On Mar. 6, 2013, we lost a true American hero who took part in the Allied invasion of France at Omaha Beach on D-Day.

  • Fred Millard, was a Northville Township resident who was born in Plymouth and grew up in Livonia, He was a member of the most decorated infantry division of the US Army, the 1st Infantry Division, known as the “Big One” landed with the First Wave on Normandy’s Omaha Beach along with the 29th Infantry Division and nine companies of U.S. Army Rangers. Millard, severely wounded during his service in North Africa and Sicily was awarded two Purple Hearts and the French Legion of Honor Medal. He received one of his Purple Heart military decorations from General Eisenhower himself in England.

In 2010 Millard received a letter from Graham Paul, consul general of France in Chicago informing him that has been named Knight of the Legion of Honor. “My fellow countrymen will never forget your sacrifice,” Paul wrote.


On Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, 2012 we lost a true American hero.

Let us remember hero – the late Wilbert (Bill) Clark of Plymouth Township.

Decorated veteran Bill Clark served his country courageously during World War II.



May their courageous service never be forgotten.


Plymouth Voice.

Photo: Bill Bressler






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