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Commander honors WWII liberators

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Commander honors WWII liberators
American Legion National Commander Jimmie L. Foster and American Legion Auxiliary President Carlene Ashworth prepare to lay wreaths at Kilometer Zero in the World War II march to victory. Thousands attended the Sunday ceremony and parade. Photo by Jeff Stoffer

American Legion National Commander Jimmie L. Foster and American Legion Auxiliary National President Carlene Ashworth joined thousands Sunday to pay tribute to those who fell fighting to liberate France during World War II.

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Active-duty Special Forces and 82nd Airborne Division troops assembled in front of the Ste. Mere-Eglise town hall and the monument known as "Kilometer Zero" in the European campaign. Foster and Ashworth laid wreaths there, along with French and U.S. dignitaries while children sang and bands played.

Earlier in the day, Foster and Ashworth were at La Fiere Bridge to place wreaths at the statue of Iron Mike which stands sentinel over the Merderet River where some of the bloodiest battles of the war were fought.
U.S. Air Force pilots and crews along with 82nd Airborne paratroopers were ready to conduct demonstrations of low-altitude parachuting, but windy, rainy weather canceled the annual event.

Activities in and around Ste. Mere-Eglise led up to ceremonies Monday, June 6, at Pointe du Hoc and Utah Beach. The commander and his group also were set to lay wreaths at the Normandy American Cemetery at a site overlooking Omaha Beach.

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