Normandy, France, 6/6/44: Where Were You On D-Day?

HorneLgNot many of us who can answer that question are still around as America celebrates the 75th anniversary. However, for years after World War II, veterans frequently asked each other that question. So, maybe just one more time, I’ll answer.

Age 18, newly out of boot camp and in training at the Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois. Our class attended a music concert in the large auditorium, starring the great Lena Horne. She was interrupted by an officer who ran onstage to announce the successful D-Day landings. We all stood, cheered and joined in while Lena sang, “God Bless America”.

Another note about the concert. When we first entered the auditorium, we saw the first four rows of seats in front of the stage were occupied by African-American sailors. Lena Horne had demanded it before the concert, angering the hell out of all the high-ranking white officers who were forced to give up their privileged seats.

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