Government

Seeking WW II Vets

Events of 70 years ago in World War II changed the history of the world. On Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the Silver Spring Civic Building, Montgomery County will honor the men and women who served their nation at that time and have since been referred to as part of “America’s Greatest Generation.”

County Executive Isiah Leggett, Council President Roger Berliner and the County Council will lead the special ceremonies for Montgomery Honors WW II Vets that will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Civic Building located at One Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring. The event will be simulcast live on many of the County’s public cable television channels that compose the PEG (Public, Education, Government) Network. In addition, the PEG Network will be recording the stories of many of the veterans for a documentary that will first be shown on Veterans Day.

Montgomery Honors WW II Vets event organizers are currently seeking to contact veterans who will be honored on Sept. 19. Those veterans, or family and friends of the veterans, seeking more information about the event should call 240-777-7929.

One day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Dee Paris went to enlist in the U.S. Army. His military career took him through some of the most famous battles of World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of the Rhine River. On Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the Silver Spring Civic Building, Mr. Paris, who is 97 and lives in Silver Spring, will be among the speakers as Montgomery County honors the men and women who served their nation in World War II.

 

Mr. Paris, who has lived in Montgomery County for more than 50 years, was in the Battle of the Bulge that became the largest land battle of World War II. More 600,000 American troops, 55,000 British troops and approximately 500,000 German soldiers were involved in that battle in the heavily forested Ardennes region of eastern Belgium and northern Luxenbourg from Dec. 16, 1944 to Jan. 25, 1945. More than 19,000 American soldiers were killed in the fighting.

 

In March 1945, Mr. Paris was among the U.S. troops that won control of the Rhine River and led to the first crossing of U.S. troops into Cologne, Germany, where German forces had established a command headquarters.

 

Mr. Paris will talk about some of his war experiences and how they impacted his life as he became a Montgomery County resident.

 

Montgomery Honors WW II Vets will occur 70 years since some of the significant World War II events of 1942, including the Battle of the Coral Sea (May 4, 1942) and the Battle of Midway (June 4, 1942). Many historians view those two battles as the turning point of the war in the Pacific. U.S. troops landed on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands on Aug. 7, 1942. In November 1942, U.S. and British troops invaded French North Africa.

 

Montgomery Honors WW II Vets event organizers are currently seeking to contact more of the veterans who will be honored on Sept. 19. Those veterans, or family and friends of the veterans, seeking more information about the event should call 240-777-7929.

“It has been almost seven decades since our World War II veterans returned home. We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge their courage and patriotism and say thank you for making the world a better place. As a veteran of the Vietnam War, I know the sacrifices that are made by members of our military during times of war. This event is a perfect way for all of us to pay tribute to these brave and honorable men and women.” – County Executive Leggett

 

Speakers at the event will include veterans who served in various aspects of World War II.

 

“So many in our community heroically served our nation, and the world, 70 years ago. September 19 will be a day where our County recognizes those whose actions helped change the course of the world. There have been many books written, and many movies made, about the people we will honor, but on this day, we will personally thank—and hear directly from—some of the men and women who did so much to shape the life and freedom we know today.” – Council President Berliner

 


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