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we found ourselves

on the sacred sands

of Omaha Beach by

the dawn

s early


current or former members of the

Lycoming College Board of Trustees.

The group had begun their trip

in London, touring the Houses of

Parliament and Churchill’s Cabinet

War Rooms, before heading to the

D-Day museum in Portsmouth and

boarding a ferry for Normandy.

Over the next four days, we

crisscrossed the Calvados and

Cotentin regions, visiting the

sites where British and American

Airborne troops landed, the beaches

where Allied forces fought their way

ashore, and the bunkers where the

enemy struck back. Everywhere we

went the roads were packed with re-

enactors in painstakingly-restored

WWII vehicles. Allied flags and

Our D


Day adventure gave me a welcome opportunity to give

something back to the college that gave me so much

included conducting a

retirement ceremony for

Captain John H. Lea, III, a

1980 Lycoming graduate who

had gone on to become one of

the senior leaders in the U.S.

Navy’s Chaplain Corps. Jack

wanted to retire on Omaha Beach

at H-Hour on D-Day. How could I

possibly say “no”?

That’s how I wound up hopping

on a bullet train for Paris in early June

with two large flagpoles protruding

from my luggage. I worked my way

from Gare de l’Est to Gare St. Lazare

and continued on to Caen to link up

with Bob and Mike and their band

of 30 history lovers, including six

of Bob’s former students and four



29th Infantry Division

veterans and

re-enactors retake

Omaha Beach on

June 6, 2014.