Mundell, his wife, Ann, and son, Jason, returned Sunday from a trip to Normandy and a side trip to
The victory gave the Allies a foothold in
Mundell's most memorial event was tagging along for eight hours with five veterans of the 82nd Airborne division on
One veteran was
"Each of the veterans went around and retraced their steps. Jakeway knew which tree, by a church, where he landed after he had jumped out of a plane and parachuted down. He had to cut himself down and that started his battle," Mundell said.
"There were probably 30 people who toured around with these guys the whole day and saw where they fought and heard their battle stories. To me, you couldn't put a price on that. There are probably 10 different museums you can go to, but the stuff we saw and heard these veterans talk about, you can't get that out of those museums. These guys are like walking museums," Mundell said.
The Mundells toured St. Mere Eglise, a small town, about the size of
In a side trip to
Mundell told family members of two of the three veterans he planned to photograph the burial markers. "This shows the stuff in the [
The Mundells also visited cemeteries in Luxembourg and Normandy.
"This is probably one of the last, if not the last, big celebrations over there, as the guys will not be around much longer. The veterans we met were 89, 92 and 93. We met one veteran who was 95," Mundell said. "These veterans, in 5 years, if they are around, would not make the next trip" for the next big celebration, Mundell said.
In addition, Mundell used the trip to visit the remains of the Remagen bridge, which had spanned the
"We wanted to see what was left of the bridge. The two big pillars of the bridge are still standing. It was one of the most famous bridges of World War II," Mundell said.
Mundell said the 70th anniversary celebration was unique for him, as well as World War II veterans.
"Everywhere you would see the D-Day veterans, they were just mobbed with at least 15 people around them. They were like rock stars. They couldn't go anywhere without someone shaking their hands, saying 'thank-you,' or wanting a photo with them or their autographs. That's the kind of attention they got over there. If anything, if all the World War II veterans knew that they were that much appreciated, it might make their day a little brighter," Mundell said.
"Some veterans think we have all forgotten. Over there in Normandy, they have not forgotten," Mundell said.
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