Saluting Our Service Members: Military Spotlight

By The Major Brent Taylor Foundation

Remembering D-Day 78 Years later

By Ann Park

A long-time resident of Farr West, Jackie Westergard continues to donate countless hours to researching the history of World War II soldiers. “It’s important to share their stories,” Jackie says. “None of us want their contribution to freedom to be forgotten.” On June 6, 1944, Allied forces invaded Normandy. “More than 150,000 Allied troops land on the beaches of Normandy, France, as part of the largest seaborne invasion in history.” (Library of Congress, Veterans History Project Collection, D-Day.)

Jackie has researched the stories of 15 Utah soldiers who were laid to rest in the American Cemetery in Normandy. “My first visit there was in 1990 with my father, who was a veteran of D-Day. It was a very emotional experience for him. As we began our walk down the rows of graves, he came upon one and said, “‘I knew him, he was in my unit,’” and Dad immediately dropped to his knees in front of the grave and touched the name carved into it. After that visit, he told me he could never go back to the cemetery again.”

Jackie traveled back again on June 6, 1994, the 50th anniversary of D-Day, to place Utah State flags on the graves of the soldiers from our state. “They were the only ones in the cemetery with state flags. I’m so glad we were able to recognize them in this way.”

Jackie has gathered the names and information of the Utah veterans interred there.

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