From staff reports
On a brisk, sunny day in northwestern France on Thursday morning, Fort Hood Col. Reginald Allen, special assistant to the III Corps and Fort Hood commander, Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr., raised the U.S. flag in a ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
"It was a great honor, to be asked to represent today's Army and raise the flag at this most moving and solemn of places - the bravery and courage of the service members interred here was beyond measure," said Allen, who relinquished command of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in November, ahead of its transformation to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. Allen is currently attending the United Kingdom Higher Command and Staff Course.
"Those Americans have been called our greatest generation, liberating Europe and in doing so accomplished perhaps the greatest undertaking in history of warfare," he said.
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France is located at the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944, and the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The cemetery site, at the north end of its ½-mile access road, covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,387 U.S. servicemembers, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. On the Walls of the Missing, in a semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial, are inscribed 1,557 names.
Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. The Normandy American Cemetery sits on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel, east of St. Laurent and northwest of Bayeux in Colleville, 170 miles west of Paris.