The historic C-47 warplane that touched down in Presque Isle yesterday has now taken flight, continuing on to Normandy. Its part of a symbolic trek commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Our Shawn Cunningham reports on how its visit is helping to educate young people about the great sacrifices of the ‘Greatest Generation”.
This Douglas C-47 warplane has lived through a lot of history and survived many battles including D-Day. Its larger than life presence is taking World War 2 veterans Thelma Archer and Heber Umphrey, a former paratrooper on a journey to the past.
Heber Umphrey says “it scares you…scary..” “Its hard to describe it with words but its just wonderful and I just admire it so much and it brings back old memories,” says Thelma Archer another World War II Veteran.
Archer and Umphrey are sharing their wartime experiences with the community including these PI Middle School Students. They’re talk along with the warplane’s arrival as part of a reenactment flight trek to Normandy France commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Crew members of the warplane dubbed Whiskey 7 say they’re humbled to honor what’s been called ‘The Greatest Generation’ in such a symbolic manner. “We are a free people and we need to be reminded sometimes of how expensive that is and what it costs to remain free,” says John Lindsay a crew member of the Whiskey 7.
“Its putting our essence our culture on the world stage by bringing this airplane back over there its extremely important,” adds Chris Polehemus another crew member of the Whiskey 7.
Michael Lindsay adds “This needs to be kept alive this needs to be taught for future generations so that someday they can realize I’ve got this because of these guys back in World War II.”
And as the community and PARTICULARLY youngsters come out to see this plane that hope is brought to fruition. Out of the mouths of babes comes a deep appreciation of what these veterans fought for and an understanding of what many sacrified.
“I just wanna say thank you because I’ve had a couple of family members go into the army and its so great what they do for us and what they did for our country,” adds Emma Bouchard a local Middle School Student.
Isaac Clark another students adds “its just really amazing how they risked their lives and they left everything that they had to stop what they were doing and help us to have freedom.”
“I think it makes them appreciate life more and they should always have a purpose in life because they never know what’s gonna happen,” adds Archer.
They never know what’s gonna happen or how their experiences could PROPEL THEM to impact future generations.