On June 6, 1944, Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy in Nazi-occupied France. More than 156,000 troops, notably from the United States, Britain and Canada, confronted Nazi forces on D-Day forever reshaping the outcome of World War II.


On a warm Eastern Shore evening in 2014, 70 years after World War II’s D-Day invasion, I was fortunate enough to participate in a conversation with Mr. Jimmy Ewing, a D-Day survivor from Queen Anne’s County, MD, and Geert Van den Bogaert, a tourism professional and non-profit volunteer from Belgium who has studied and worked as a guide at Normandy museums, battlefields, and cemeteries.

I’d known Mr. Jimmy since I was a kid. He was a beloved member of our community; appreciated for his warmth, honesty, and goodwill. I now understand that Geert, who we were introduced to through a shipmate of mine from the U.S.S. Nimitz, is one of the very best at what he does.

Part of what Geert does is keep alive the stories of the men who, when the world teetered upon a catastrophic brink, stood up and fought back.


Sitting there that evening in the Ewing’s…

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