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Delmar man hopes D-Day ceremony will become an annual tradition

— For the second year in a row, one Delmar resident is seeking to commemorate survivors of an historic day in World War II history that is sometimes overlooked in today’s remembrances.

Frank DeSorbo, 64, is once again seeking out veterans of the invasion of Europe on D-Day, June 6, 1944. His event, called “A Day of Recognition and Remembrance” will honor those who were on the beach of Normandy, France 64 years ago.

“People do a lot for the Pearl Harbor survivors, but no one ever does anything for the boys who stormed the beaches,” said DeSorbo. “I thought someone should.”

Although DeSorbo was never in the military, two of his brothers were. From a young age DeSorbo said he had been interested in what it was like for men to head off to war and enter battle. He was also “subconsciously” always interested in Operation Overlord, the invasion that would pave the way for the Allied victory over Germany.

DeSorbo said the idea for an observance day first came in 2005 when we was visiting the former D-Day museum in New Orleans, now called the National WWII Museum. He was taking a self-guided tour when he came across a man in his 80s also looking at the exhibits.

“He was a survivor of Normandy, front line combat. I asked him what today was and told him it was D-Day. He said no one had had mentioned it to him all day except for me,” said DeSorbo.

The two men went out to dinner and developed a relationship over the years. “I told him I wanted to start something so people would remember, and he kidded that I wouldn’t actually do anything,” DeSorbo said.

The idea continued to weigh on him after realizing year after year the media provided little coverage for such a historic anniversary. Finally, he decided to act.

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