SYLVESTER, Ga. (WALB) - With each ring of the bell representing a total of 46 lives from Georgia, members of the American Legion Post 335 held a D-Day Remembrance Ceremony to remember the lives lost on that day.
On June 6, 1944, 76 years ago, the largest seaborne invasion in history took place on the beaches of Normandy, France, as members of the Allied Powers stormed the coastline in a fight against Nazi Germany.
Members of the American Legion Post 335 also honored a survivor, Chief Master Sergeant Jim Tilton.
“In D-Day he received a Purple Heart. He and another group threw some grenades into a farmhouse, and as they went in to clear the farmhouse a German solider was hiding behind the door and jumped out at him and he was bayoneted before he got shot six or seven times,” said American Legionnaire, Paul Murray.
This weekend, he celebrated his 96th birthday and did not attend the ceremony as he celebrated with his family.
“Mr. Tilton laid there for three days with the dead solider until he was found. That was just one of his four Purple Hearts,” said Murray.
American Legionnaire Paul Murray said while Saturday’s ceremony did not have a large turnout, he said it was important for them to take the time to honor and remember those that stormed the beaches of Normandy, France 76 years ago.
“Well, we had a Memorial Day ceremony. We were cut down to 10 people. Mostly just the honor guard and the process of the ceremony, and today was about 35. So, it wasn’t publicized, but we did this in honor of the 76th anniversary of D-Day,” said Murray.