Jun 2, 200911:08 AM
The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

D-DAY, 2000

Errol Laborde

 I found myself feeling more emotional than I expected when I walked alongside the staging area for the D-Day parade, especially when I saw a military truck carrying veterans from the 101st Airborne. The date was June 6, 2000, opening day for what was then known as the National D-Day museum.
        
 Those gentle-looking old men on the truck were the ones who, in the first stages of the invasion, parachuted behind enemy lines to secure bridges and roads. It was one of the deadliest assignments of the invasion. Fifty-six years earlier the men of the 101st sat and waited for the invasion to begin. This day they were back in an Army vehicle sitting and waiting for a parade to begin. One old soldier stood to stretch and revealed a stump of a right leg. On one arm was the tattoo of a parachute. Another man rested his artificial leg in the sun. Others seemed fit; all had stories to tell.
         
Then there was the truck carrying veterans of the 2nd Armored Division. Known as "Hell on Wheels," the division that rumbled from Normandy through France toward decisive battles at the Bulge.
        
 Some Jeeps carried Congressional Medal of Honor winners. A van delivered each of these men to their vehicle. A few never achieved rank higher than private, but as each elderly man climbed out of the van, the military officials attending them snapped to a salute.
         
 Faces were fascinating. There were some old tired faces on the trucks, and some faces not so old, belonging to men who obviously went to war practically as children.
         
 Then there were the faces of the current military. They were all young faces, just like the nervous faces of war 56 year earlier
         
 Sometimes history makes dramatic demands of certain generations. On that day the nation was at peace. Fifteen months later, on September 11, 2001, the world would change. Once more there would be enemy lines, and nervous young soldier having to breech them.

 


Let us know what you think. Any comments about this article? Write to errol@renpubllc.com. For the subject line use D-DAY. All responses are subject to being published, as edited, in this newsletter.  Please include your name and location.

 
Krewe: The Early New Orleans Carnival- Comus to Zulu by Errol Laborde is available at all area bookstores. Books can also be ordered via e-mail at gdkrewe@aol.com or (504)- 895-2266.

 

WATCH INFORMED SOURCES, FRIDAYS AT 7 PM, REPEATED AT 11:30 PM. WYES-TV, CH. 12.  
 
 NOW ON WIST RADIO, 690 AM, THE ERROL LABORDE SHOW, 6 PM FRIDAYS; 7 AM and  PM SATURDAYS; 8 AM and 5 PM
SUNDAYS. THE PROGRAM IS ALSO STREAMED ON THE WIST WEB SITE.

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The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

about

Errol LabordeErrol Laborde holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Orleans and is the editor-in-chief of Renaissance Publishing. In that capacity he serves as editor/associate publisher of New Orleans Magazine and editor/publisher of Louisiana Life magazine.

Errol is also a producer and a regular panelist on Informed Sources, a weekly news discussion program broadcast on public television station WYES-TV, Channel 12. Errol is a three-time winner of the Alex Waller Award, the highest award given in print journalism by the Press Club of New Orleans. He also received the National and City Regional Magazine Association Award for Best Column for his New Orleans Magazine column, beating out 76 city magazines across the country. In 2013, Errol received the award for the "Best News Affiliated Blog," awarded by the Press Club of New Orleans.

Errol’s most recent books are Krewe: The Early Carnival from Comus to Zulu and Marched the Day God: A History of the Rex Organization. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis and traveling with his wife, Peggy, to anywhere they can get away to, but some of his favorite spots are the Caribbean and historic locations around Louisiana. You can reach Errol at (504) 830-7235 or errol@myneworleans.com.

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