Dayton, OH (WCMH)– June 6, 1944—“You are about to embark on a great crusade” — those are the words of General Dwight D. Eisenhower to more than 150,000 young men who are about to change the course of World War 2 and world history.
“[My stepfather] said, “Son, I want to tell you something.” He said, “Your father died so you could live. And he said, “By God, that’s what you’re going to do.” So he said, “You live your life the best you can for him.” It’s what I did. I’ve tried,” said Russ Martin of Grove City.
Martin and Grove City neighbor John Allen have a passion for making sure their fathers’ sacrifices are never forgotten.
“My father was in World War II. His father was in World War II,” Allen, who is an Army veteran himself, explained.
They made sure to make the hour drive to Dayton for the grand opening of ‘D-Day: Freedom From Above’ at the National Museum of the US Air Force.
“They can never thank them enough,” said Allen.
“This is in honor of my father, [Wayne L. Martin of the Marietta area],” said Martin. “He was killed in the war a week before I was born, so I never knew him. He was shot down in a bomber on September 23 of ’44. I was raised by my stepfather from the age of four, and he was a foot soldier and he did survive.”
The augmented reality exhibit utilizes technology to give people a closer look at what the D-Day troops experienced via a tablet— which is helping bridge the gap between generations.
“I’m really pleased to see all the kids that are here today,” said Allen. “I think all the young people should know more about it. We don’t teach it properly in the schools anymore. And I’m a former teacher. I taught history, and we just don’t teach it enough.”
“That’s so important, too. They cannot forget this. This is a part of our history, and this is living history,” Martin added.
The D-Day exhibit is will be at the museum for the rest of 2019. CLICK HERE for more information.