Submitted by: James Pelosi
Normandy to Berlin: The TREK to Honor the Legacies is written in the aspect of a historical novel. The author, James Joseph Pelosi, Ph.D., writes about his 59-day walk through 58 cities, towns and villages between Omaha beach at Normandy, France and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany in 2014 to recognize the veterans of four Legacy events. Those events were the anniversaries of the major conflicts of the Twentieth Century in which millions of people of all ages, races, creeds and occupations were affected.
July 28th 2014 was the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I (1914–1918). In four years of war more than 35 million people perished.
June 6th 2014 marked the 70th anniversary of the Allied landings at Normandy, France during World War II (1939-1945). More than 160,000 American, British, and Canadian soldiers supported by more than 200,000 Allied naval personnel landed to start the campaigns that would end the war eleven months later. 70 million people died in the war.
September 30th 2014 was the 65th anniversary of the end of The Berlin Airlift. Between 1948 and 1949, the Soviets blocked the Allied rail, road, and canal access into West Berlin. By denying access to food, fuel, and supplies and services necessary to live and work, the Soviets hoped to force the three Western Allies to abandon Berlin.
November 9th 2014 was the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. For 28 years between 1961 and 1989, the “Wall of Shame” isolated West Berlin from East Berlin and East Germany. During that time, the wall was the most closely guarded and difficult to cross border in the world. The Berlin Wall was destroyed in 1990.
Americans played a critical role in the outcome of all four of these events. American taxpayers funded the more than 16 million service members who deployed to Europe during both world wars. They funded, produced, and transported all of the aircraft, ships, vehicles, weapons, equipment, hardware, and food used to support the combatants. Almost half a million American military members were killed during seven years of the two world wars.
American pilots, flying relief supplies from bases in Europe, helped save the lives of almost three million Berliners during the Berlin Airlift. In that effort, 31 American military and civilians died.
After NATO was created to check the Soviet and Warsaw Pact threat to the free countries of Western Europe, American military and their families served at allied bases throughout Western Europe.
Dr. Pelosi’s father served as a bomber pilot in the US Army Air Corps during World War II and three years later in the US Air Force during the Berlin Airlift. Berlin was Dr. Pelosi’s first assignment as an Army Infantry lieutenant after his graduation from West Point.
The TREK was his demonstration of support for all veterans and the contributions made by them and their families who served and sacrificed for the United States and its allies during war and conflict.
Beginning at Omaha Beach and in the area of Normandy, Dr. Pelosi spoke with veterans, their families, friends and tourists who had traveled to attend the 70th anniversary of D-Day on June 6th. He describes their sentiments about the veterans who fought during World War II. Four surviving WW II veterans told him that their service was the greatest accomplishment of their lives.
His contacts, especially those from the liberated countries, told him that they could not imagine life if the Allies not been victorious. He describes their compelling testaments. In Mery-Corbon, France, the Francois family hosted him as “The Liberator” at a fest at their home. Father Pierre in Arlon, Belgium offered daily mass for him. Temporarily blinded in Germany, his eyesight was saved by his hotelier, doctors and hospital staff.
Proud of the experiences, Dr. Pelosi believes that it is the desire of all people to live in freedom, free from oppression, persecution and prejudice. This book tells that story. AVAILABLE AT AMAZON.com $14.95. ALL royalties are donated to a veteran in need.
About the author:
James Joseph Pelosi is a retired Army officer, university professor and aerospace engineer with 42 years government service. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Mechanical engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York with the “Proud and Free” class of 1973; a Master in Business Administration degree from Pepperdine University’s Presidential and Key Executive program in Los Angeles, California in 1982; a Master of Arts degree in Russian Area Studies from Georgetown University’s overseas extension program at the U.S. Army Russian Institute in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany in 1985; and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in aerospace biomedical engineering from Moscow State University in 1988. With an academic’s fluency in several European languages, he conducted much of the research related to the four Legacy events from sources in France, Belgium, Germany and Russia. He is a 38-year member of the American Legion and an advocate for all veterans especially those injured and disabled by combat. He spends his time conducting research for future publications and as a volunteer for medical research investigations related to healthy aging. He resides among homes in the United States, Germany, Italy and Russia where he writes. His book, At War with Parkinson’s Disease, which relates the story of his at-home care for his disabled mother between 2000 and 2010, will be published in 2018.