Veterans Day has special meaning for the City of Fairfax Band Association (CFBA). A number of its members have been in our armed forces, including some who served full military careers. They include former musicians from all branches. Added to that are band members related to veterans. So, we help commemorate Veterans Day this year by posting expanded content on the band’s June 2017 D-Day trip to France. There we honored the U.S. service members who fought and fell in Normandy and nearby Brittany during World War II. They were part of the Allies’ invasion of Nazi-occupied France, which launched on D-Day (June 6, 1944).
We hope you’ll enjoy the content on the band’s D-Day France trip. It includes:
- Photos of the band at the Normandy American Cemetery just above Omaha Beach, in the town of Sainte-Mère-Église, and in Paris.
- Video of the band performing in the Normandy region and in Paris.
- Video of graveside remembrances conducted by Fairfax Mayor David Meyer for two soldiers from Fairfax laid to rest in France who fell in 1944.
- An article about our trip published recently in the Journal of the Association of Concert Bands.
The CFB provided music for commemorations at two of the largest U.S. military cemeteries in northern France: the Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial, situated near the village of Saint James, and the Normandy American Cemetery, located just above Omaha Beach at Colleville-sur-Mer. The thousands of men buried at those sites remain on duty every day—reminding the world of the cost of war.
The band also performed in the town of Sainte-Mère-Église. U.S. paratroopers night-dropped in and around the town hours before the beach landings. Some dropped off target due to darkness and German anti-aircraft fire and landed in the middle of town. They suffered major casualties.
D-Day saw history’s largest amphibious military landing. The invasion at the Normandy region of France’s northern coast launched the Anglo-American campaign to liberate that country from Nazi-German occupation and help defeat Germany. The European war ended less than 12 months later because of Anglo-American forces fighting against the Nazis’ west flank and Russian forces advancing from the east.