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D Day Commemoration

D Day Commemoration

Posted by Tony on 6th Jun 2024

Honoring the Heroes of D-Day at the Made in America Store

As the world pauses to remember D-Day, we at the Made in America Store had the profound honor of hosting six World War II veterans in a special event commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. This event, held on June 5, 2024, was a heartfelt prelude to the anniversary, allowing us to honor these brave individuals and reflect on the immense significance of their sacrifices.

Remembering the Legacy of D-Day

On June 6, 1944, over 150,000 troops from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and other Allied nations took part in the largest air, land, and sea assault in history. This monumental event marked the beginning of the end of World War II in Europe as Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, to liberate the continent from Nazi occupation.

Among the many stories of bravery is that of the Rev. Ignatius Maternowski, a St. Francis High School graduate and paratrooper chaplain who made the ultimate sacrifice. His story was shared during our event, alongside that of Charles N. DeGlopper, another hero who died during the invasion.

A Day of Remembrance

The event at the Made in America Store was attended by six distinguished World War II veterans:

  • Edward Laurich (96, U.S. Navy): Laurich placed his hand over his heart as the national anthem was sung, a moment that deeply moved all in attendance.
  • Joe Synakowski (94): The youngest veteran present, Synakowski lied about his age to enlist at 15 and served in the same paratrooper unit as Maternowski.
  • Clay Bihl (100): Bihl, who served in Europe and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, shared memories of traversing the snowy mountains of Austria on skis.
  • Herman “Pat” Pawlicki (103): A bomber pilot, Pawlicki enlisted the day after Pearl Harbor and proudly recounted his service, even joking about his desire to serve again despite his age.
  • Richard Westlund: A poet by nature, Westlund’s service in the Pacific theater was honored through a touching poem presented by his daughter.
  • Joseph Cosenza: A Buffalo native, Cosenza recalled the harrowing experience of Japanese bombings in the Philippines.

The ceremony featured a bugle rendition of taps, a speech by Franciscan Friar Matt Foley about Maternowski’s sacrifice, and heartfelt words from the relatives of Charles D. DeGlopper.

Keeping Their Stories Alive

Bill DeGlopper and Kris DeGlopper-Banks, relatives of Charles D. DeGlopper, shared their great uncle’s heroism and emphasized the importance of preserving these stories for future generations. As DeGlopper-Banks poignantly stated, "If we don’t continue to tell the story, then we lose that part of our history."

We are immensely grateful to these veterans for sharing their stories and allowing us to honor them in such a meaningful way. As we commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day, we are reminded of the courage, sacrifice, and resilience of all those who served. Their legacy continues to inspire us in our mission at the Made in America Store: to support American manufacturing and honor the spirit of those who have fought for our freedoms.