MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – They’ve been called America’s greatest generation, and they are slowly fading from out sight. Many, before they die, want to see the place that made them great.
This is why Diane Hight founded Forever Young Senior Veterans in Collierville.
It is her way of saying thanks to all veterans ages 65 and older.
Sooner or later, the Veterans Cemetery will be the final resting place.
A place where there is peace, quiet, no sounds of battle.
Those sounds are never far away from World War II Veterans, even now, 75 years after D-Day (June 6, 1944).
And a group of old soldiers are planning on one more visit to Normandy, France.
“We will have seven D-Day veterans that were there on June 6th,” says Diane Hight of Forever Young Senior Veterans, “… and then we have seven Normandy vets, that might be a
D-Day plus five. A lot of these guys were there on D-Day but were on ships waiting to go in.”
Diane has had these free of charge trips for World War II Veterans before.
This one is going to be a little different, she says, a little more emotional.
“We’ve seen so many of these guys that had no interest in returning, until they turned 90,” she says. “I think they realized that they are at the end of their lives and they want to make peace with it all.”
6,603 Americans were killed that day.
Now, 14 men from the area, who fought in Normandy and survived, want to return for one more visit.
“They are between 93 to 102-years of age,” Diane says, “… and seven of them have never been back since the war ended. And our 102-year-old, he’s one of those who has not been back since the war.”
World War II Veterans are losing their battles against time. It won’t change Diane Hight and her organization.
They are planning a trip next year to Korea, for the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.