Niagara vets share D-Day memories

Photos and descriptions of local veterans line the Hall of Heroes in the Niagara School. After the class presentation a group gathered to view the photos. Left to right: Standing, Fred Rhodes, WWII veteran, Tracy Coppens, president of the Niagara School Board, Nate Burklund, district superintendent, Claire Blayney, Bruce LaLiberte, Niagara American Legion Post #136. Front row seated: Grant Allred, WWII veteran, and JJ Coppens of Niagara.

Bobbie Samme’

Students in Ben Laarman’s U.S. History class were treated to a memorable visit from two World War II Niagara veterans on Monday.

Fred Rhodes and Grant Allred, who were on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day on June 6, 1944, were interviewed by former Niagara School principal Kerry Grippen about their experiences on that fateful day.

“There were 156,000 troops on those beaches that day,” Rhodes recalled. “73,000 of them were Americans, and 43,000 were killed that morning.”

Many countries were represented on the beaches of Normandy, including Australia, England, Canada, Norway and Holland, to name a few.

For the full story, see this week’s edition of The Borderland Journal.