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Liberty to help sponsor D-Day Memorial anniversary event

June 5, 2014 : Liberty University News Service

The National D-Day MemorialLiberty University will be a supporting sponsor for an event at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., on Friday, June 6, that will commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Allied Landing at Normandy during World War II and celebrate American and Allied heroes.

Liberty staff will participate in a “Memorial Testament of Freedom” ceremony at 11 a.m., alongside many local and state leaders. The program will include several excerpt readings of historical D-Day documents, such as General Eisenhower’s order, President Roosevelt’s prayer, and memoirs from soldiers.

Dr. Barry N. Moore, chairman of the National D-Day Memorial Foundation and Liberty’s vice president for Outreach & Strategic Partnerships, will give the welcome at the event.

Retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Dave Young, dean of Liberty University School of Aeronautics, will deliver a historical reading of an account by Allen W. Stephens, 8th Air Force. Young also helped coordinate the aerial activities for the program, which include flyovers by WWII aircraft (a C-47, a P-51, and four T-6s) as well as a baton passing by the Golden Knights, a U.S. Army parachute team. Liberty sponsored the T-6 and P-51 aircraft. The T-6s will perform the Missing Man Formation salute.

“Having visited Normandy, stood on the beaches, and walked through the American cemetery, I stand in awe with a sense of reverence for those who fought and died there,” Young said. “I am humbled and privileged to, in some small way, assist in honoring the brave men of the D-Day invasion.”

(View the event program for a full schedule.)

Up to 10,000 guests are expected for the weekend, including 300 D-Day veterans and nearly 1,000 World War II veterans as well as thousands more vets and their families.

Liberty’s Office of Military Affairs will have a booth at the event and representatives will hand out American flags and Liberty gear while connecting with veterans.

“Liberty University has always been a huge supporter of our military and it is always inspirational to be able to speak directly to these heroes,” said Ashley Eskridge, military outreach coordinator. “Participating in this event really gives purpose to what we do on a daily basis.”

Liberty is a proud supporter of military service members, veterans, and their families. The Office of Military Affairs helps military and veteran students with their military benefits, enabling them to focus on their academic goals. The office also hosts military events on campus throughout the year.