Making History Project
"Preserving Veterans' Stories"
501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

D-Day Archive

Happy Birthday Rock Merritt!

Rock MerrittAugust 10, 2018, is the 95th birthday for Kenneth “Rock” Merritt.

Rock Merritt is a true hero having jumped into Normandy, France on D-Day as a member of the 82nd Airborne.

One of my first oral history interviews was with Rock at a picnic table in La Fiere during the 70th Anniversary for the D-Day landings.

To this day, Rock is an authoritative voice on the history of the 82nd Airborne, 508 P.I.R., and all things related to the Normandy campaign. Rock Merritt rose to be a Command Sergeant Major in the Army and served his country in Vietnam as well.

For all of his accomplishments, Rock was enshrined as one of the original members for the All American Hall of Fame for the 82nd Airborne in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Gracious with his time and an inspiration to current paratroopers, I consider Rock to be a Great American and a true friend.

Happy Birthday…Command Sergeant Major!

D-Day June 6, 2018

2018 D-Day Celebrations

Celebrations in Sainte Mere Eglise

Normandy Where it All Began

It is hard to imagine but it has been eight years since my first trip to Normandy France for D-Day. Today represents the 74th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

All told, I have been in Normandy three times and it never gets old. To be in the presence of greatness and at the location of such a history-altering event is truly humbling.

It was in this electric atmosphere that I came up with the idea to preserve soldier’s tales through oral history interviews. I only hope that I am doing a good enough job in capturing these stories so as to preserve this lightning in the bottle for future generations.

A Time for Reflection

While there is plenty of pomp and circumstance today, let us not forget the true reason for why we celebrate. Many brave men, sacrificed their youth, blood, limb, mind or their life altogether for the liberation of France. So while beer and wine flow liberally today in Normandy, there should always be at least a tiny moment dedicated towards the somber remembrance for those that did not return. Many a family is missing a father, grandfather, brother, uncle, or husband today.

Never forget their ultimate sacrifice. For as all soldiers know, only the dead know the end of war. May they now rest in peace.

World War II Veterans to Return to Normandy

D-Day, Normandy FranceWe are seeking, in conjunction with a local French organization, World War II Veterans who served in Normandy who would like to return to Normandy for the annual D-Day commemorations during the first week of June.

In order to qualify, the Veteran must be able to provide proof of service in Normandy during World War II, which normally can be achieved with a copy of the discharge papers.

The French organization is providing free of charge all lodging, meals, and transportation while in Normandy. Additionally, Veterans will be provided an escort to get to events and well-deserved places of honor at those events.

Financial assistance is available to cover transportation to France on a limited basis for those in need.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Time is short and places are filling up. If there is any interest please contact Patrick Russell ASAP by email at patrick@makehistoryproject.com